Women in contemporary Greek society have been conventionally depicted as oppressed and socially inferior, circumscribed in behavior and segregated from the world of men. In 1967 Ernestine Friedl’s classic article, “The Position of Women: Appearnce and Reality,” argued that this view was overly simplified and that in Greek villages women in fact exercise power in household decisions and in determining the economic and marital future of their children. Since that article, feminists and anthropologists have continued to discuss the appearances of prestige vs. the realities of power. In this volume scholars form a variety of backgrounds return the debate to the setting of Greece for the first time since Friedl’s work. Introduced by Jill Dubisch, the book contains eight original essays and a republication of the Friedl article.
Among other topics, the essays examine changes now occurring in Greek gender roles, the ways women deal with oppression and act as mediators between the domestic sphere and life outside the home, and the extension of the language and symbolism of gender beyond male and female roles. The contributors are Juliet du Boulay, Anna Caraveli, Muriel Dimen, Jill Dubisch, Michael Herzfeld, Robinette Kennedy, Elftherios Pavlides and Jana Hesser, and S.D. Salamone and J.B. Stanton.
Jill Dubisch is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.
Originally published in 1986.
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