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Gitano Sex Role Symbolism and Behavior

F. D. Mulcahy
Anthropological Quarterly
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Apr., 1976), pp. 135-151
DOI: 10.2307/3316865
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3316865
Page Count: 17
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Gitano Sex Role Symbolism and Behavior
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Abstract

The symbolic content of the public sex role behavior of the inhabitants of a Spanish Gypsy squatter settlement is described and analyzed in light of the theoretical frameworks of Ortner and Tiger. It is suggested that in the community's symbolic world, women are portrayed as essentially natural creatures whose most important social relationship is with their children. The public symbolic usages associated with male behavior suggest that men are defined as both creatures and manipulators of culture, who find their primary social identity in establishing and maintaining male-male relationships. The global utility of these enclave-internal behavioral and symbolic patterns is considered; specifically it is suggested that they function in enabling Gypsy adults of both sexes to deal with the pressures and problems of economic activity in the enclave-external, modernizing urban society.

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