Higher Education

Challenging Gender Norms: Five Genders Among Bugis in Indonesia, 1st Edition

  • Sharyn Graham Davies Auckland University of Technology - Auckland, New Zealand
  • ISBN-10: 0495092800  |  ISBN-13: 9780495092803
  • 176 Pages
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $57.75



As part of the Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology series, edited by George Spindler and Janice E. Stockard, Sharyn Graham brings us CHALLENGING GENDER NORMS: THE FIVE GENDERS OF INDONESIA. This case study explores the Bugis ethnic group, native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, that recognizes five gender categories rather than the two acknowledged in most societies. The Bugis acknowledge three sexes (female, male, hermaphrodite), four genders (women, men, calabai, and calalai), and a fifth meta-gender group, the bissu. This ethnography presents individuals' stories, opinions and deliberations, grounding discussions of how gendered identities are constructed in a rapidly changing cultural milieu. The rich ethnographic material contained in this book challenges two types of Western theory - queer theory, which tends to focus on sexuality, and feminist theory, which tends to focus on social gender enactment. Neither theory is well-equipped for articulating the complexities of multiple gender identities and a multifarious gender system. By unraveling social negotiations and examining both individual embodiment and the impact of global forces on localized identities, the book proposes a new theory of gender which incorporates appreciation of variously gendered subjectivities.

Table of Contents

1. Conceptualizing Gender.
2. The Importance of Being Gendered.
3. Hunting Down Love: Female Transgendering.
4. Contesting Masculinity and Negotiating Femininity.
5. Androgynous Shamans and Rituals of Gender.
6. I Do, I Do: A Journey Through Two Indonesian Weddings.
Conclusion: Rethinking Gender.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Sharyn Graham Davies

Sharyn Graham is a Senior Lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology in Auckland, New Zealand. She completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia in 2004, and this case study grew out of her extensive study and years of fieldwork in Sulawesi. Dr. Graham has published numerous journal articles and book chapters while earning her degree. She has received abundant research grants and awards for her impressive scholarship and regularly presents papers at prominent meetings. Dr. Graham is also an active member of several international anthropological committees and organizations.