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By Berndt R. M; Tonkinson R

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Additional info for Social anthropology and Australian aboriginal studies: A contemporary overview

Sample text

Through all this, there persists In many places a clear sense of differentiation of male and female work roles, which take as their model the traditional productive roles. We should focus on closer examination of the complex changes in social relations, including male-female relations, that are part of productiveand economic change. The bases for evaluation of these changes need to be made more explicit, and stated in relation to particular local social systems, which cannot be defined without consideration of the nature of Aboriginal and European-Australian interaction.

It once again seems to pose the issue, as Kaberry did, as one of women's subjecthood, but not of the wider conditions within which women are konstituted as subjects', in Hamilton's (1979, 297) terms. While such extended taboos have been reported elsewhere in Australia, what is striking is that men do not observe them in this context (compare Sackett 1978a, 124, on the imposition of speech taboos as punishment for men within the context of male ceremony). Second, Rose (1984, 174) suggests that bestowal practices amount to a 'loss of autonomy' for the bestowed girl, but 'she is also securing a wife for her uncle' that is to say, in a later return.

Nurture of intersex relationships Bell terms 'emotional management'. She is at pains to down-playany sexual content of women's ritual, even of the jarrarda or yilpinji ('love magical') kinds. This is part of the general insistence on the parity and similarity (contra Munn 1973)of men's and women's ritual. Of studies of women's ritual in other areas (eg Berndt 1950) which reported different emphases, and in particular noted an explicit sexual dimension, Bell (1983, 180)tends to suggest that these reflected recent social upheaval; thus she evaluates these rituals as less pristine in content (eg less closely linked to particular sites and territories)than those she observed.

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