Project Archive: Global Perspectives on Gender

This is a snapshot of project information archived on 2 September 2022. Please contact the project team for most recent updates.

Global Perspectives on Gender

Subject: Anthropology

Book Language: English

Audience: Upper level college

Book Cover:

Created date: November 19, 2019

Updated date: July 14, 2022

Target Release Date: 2020-09-01


  • Attribution


This project was born from two deeply rooted experiences teaching undergraduates at state universities and community colleges. First, with more than 30 years (cumulative) experience teaching anthropology of sex and gender, we acknowledge the ongoing challenge of imparting to students an understanding that ideologies and practices of gender and sexuality are culturally shaped, historically changing, and globally situated. Second, we recognize that many students struggle with the ever-increasing costs of textbooks, and that without access to quality educational materials students cannot succeed in their classes. Global Perspectives on Gender seeks to address these two issues through a peer-reviewed, edited textbook covering key topics related to the cultural construction of sex and gender around the world.

Why Organize the Textbook Geographically?

Several textbooks exist that take a topical approach to the study of genders and sexualities globally. What is often missing in these textbooks is the broader cultural, historical, political, and economic context that contributes to the social constructions of gender described. By contrast, in this textbook students will explore how gender and sexuality are embedded in and shaped by nations’ and regions’ particular histories and cultures. By focusing on fewer cultural examples, but going more in-depth, this textbook seeks to explore how gendered lives are situated within particular cultural, historical, political, and economic contexts. The

Global Perspectives on Gender

textbook is be structured into sections each focusing on a particular region. The sections begin with a broad overview of key historical and political economic factors shaping the region. Each geographic section includes several chapters that explore specific social constructions of gender or gender-related topics (e.g. women and work, marriage and family, masculinity, gender-based violence, etc.). This organization makes it easy for instructors to add additional topics or chapters to the modules so the book can be flexible and adaptable to different course needs. Our goal is to serve a range of gender or area-studies related upper-division undergraduate courses (anthropology, sociology, culture studies, area studies, ethnic studies, etc.). While cognizant of the earlier critiques of area-studies approaches, more recent research has recognized the value of tracing the global in the local


. It is through local analyses that we can best understand global dynamics. Thus, our geographical approach does not imply the existence of bounded cultural areas or self-contained regions. Rather, the individual chapters are both deeply place-anchored, while solidly linking the local to relevant global processes.


Alvarez, Sonia, Arturo Arias, and Charles Hale. 2011 Re-Visioning Latin American Studies.

Cultural Anthropology

26(2): 225–246.

Short Description:

This textbook takes a regional approach to examining gendered lives from a social science perspective (primarily anthropological). Chapters highlight individual contributor’s research, contextualizing their findings within specific geographic regions. Chapters also feature short project/people profiles that highlight the work of community or political leaders, non-governmental organizations, or local projects that address gender related issues in a specific location.




South Asia: Introducing the Region

Ina Goel, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Chapter 1: Policing the Border by Policing Women’s Bodies: Gender, Nationalism, and Nepal’s Citizen

Dannah Dennis, Hamilton College & Abha Lal, NYU Shanghai

Chapter 2: Third Gender, Kinship, India Understanding family and kinship through hijra or ‘third’ ge

Ina Goel, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Chapter 3: Nepal ‘The city’ and ‘the easy life’. Work and Gender among Sherpa in Nepal.

Alba Castellsagué & Sílvia Carrasco, Universitat Autònoma of Barcelona

Profile: Blank Noise

Hemangini Gupta, National Institute of Advanced Studies

Profile: Women’s Shelter in Hanoi

Lynn Kwiatkowski, Colorado State University


Latin America: Introducing the Region

Serena Cosgrove, Seattle University & Ana Marina Tzul Tzul, Universidad Rafael Landívar-Quetzaltenango Campus, Guatemala

Chapter 4: Being a Good Mexican Man by Embracing “Erectile Dysfunction”

Emily Wentzell, University of Iowa

Chapter 5: An Intersectional Analysis of Black Masculinity in Northeast Brazil

Melanie Medeiros, SUNY Geneseo

Chapter 6: “Oportunidades” Program in Mexico

Holly Dygert, Northeastern University

Chapter 7: Q’eqchi’-Maya Market Women in the Global Economy: Family, Tradition, and Memory in Capita

Ashley Kistler, Rollins College

Profile: Women’s Efforts to End Gender-Based Violence in Guatemala

Serena Cosgrove, Seattle University


The Caribbean: Introducing the Region

Nadine T. Fernandez, SUNY Empire State College

Chapter 8: Quinceañeras: Girls’ Coming-of-Age Parties in Contemporary Havana, Cuba

Heidi Härkönen, University of Helsinki

Chapter 9: Jamaican Realities of Masculinities and Sexuality

Natasha Mortley, University of the West Indies


The Global North (North America & Europe): Introducing the Region

Lara Braff, Grossmont College & Katie Nelson, Inver Hills Community College

Chapter 10: The Backstage of Postmodern Mothering

Susan Tratner, SUNY Empire State College

Chapter 11: Male sex work: Intersections of Gender and Sexuality

Nathan Dawthorne, University of Western Ontario

Chapter 12: Intersectionality and Muslim women in Belgium

Elsa Mescoli, CEDEM – FaSS – University of Liège

Chapter 13: Becoming a man and a father: Dilemmas of fathering from a distance (Mexicans in USA)

Elizabeth Perez Marquez, Universidad de Guadalajara

Profile: Kathleen Steinhauer: First Nations Activist in the Shadows

Sarah Quick, Cottey College