Women and Cultural Identity
A discussion of the difficulties facing women in the Middle East, India and China in terms of defining their cultural identity.
# 119401 | 1,204 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2010 |
Published on Apr 25, 2010 in Anthropology (Asian) , Anthropology (Middle Eastern) , Women Studies (Culture) , Women Studies (Women and Society)
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This paper discusses the role of women in Middle Eastern, Chinese and Indian cultures. It looks at how difficult it is for these women to fully define their own cultural identity and the influence of Western culture and ideals on the women. The paper concludes that that today's Muslim, Indian and Chinese women will be successful in their pursuit of knowing exactly who they are.
From the Paper:"In "Medieval Islam," Leila Ahmed, while discussing the ramifications of Muslim culture in the Middle East between the 10th and 13th centuries A.D., points out four factors that shaped women's lives during this time--customs and laws regulating marriage, the social ideal of women's seclusion, women's legal right to own property and women's position in the class system. In the leading pages of this article, Ahmed focuses on marriage which in medieval times allowed polygamy and concubinage (i.e., more than one wife or a harem of wives/concubines) which were the norms among the ruling classes. Ahmed goes on to say that the Mamluks, the rulers of Egypt from 1250 to 1517 A.D., kept "large harems of concubines" and married many wives, a symbol of a man's class and power, yet another indication of a patriarchal system. Certainly, the women who were wives of these upper-class Mamluks or members of the harems did not have to concern themselves too much with their cultural identities, due to being told how to act, what to say and what to think. Also, since Ahmed's discussion centers on medieval times, there was no infiltration from the West, at least not to any great degree."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Ahmed, Leila. Women and Gender In Islam: Historical Roots of a Modern Debate. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1992.
- Chatterjee, Partha. The Nation and Its Fragments: Colonial and Postcolonial Histories. New York: Princeton University Press, 1993.
- Hoodfar, Homa. "The Veil In Their Minds and On Our Heads: Veiling Practices and Muslim Women." In Women, Gender and Religion: A Reader. Ed. Elizabeth A. Castelli. New York: Palgrave, 2001.
- Lowe, Lisa. "Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity." In Theorizing Asian American Literature. New York: Rutgers State University, 2000.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Women and Cultural Identity (2010, April 25) Retrieved December 11, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/women-and-cultural-identity-119401/
"Women and Cultural Identity" 25 April 2010. Web. 11 December. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/women-and-cultural-identity-119401/>