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On Interpreting Gender in Bugis Society

Susan Bolyard Millar
American Ethnologist
Vol. 10, No. 3 (Aug., 1983), pp. 477-493
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/644265
Page Count: 17
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On Interpreting Gender in Bugis Society
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Abstract

This paper considers gender behavior in terms of the social and symbolic dynamics of Bugis society. The Bugis possess a gender system that is formally elaborated but does not comprise a primary organizational principle of their culture. Instead, women and men are absorbed equally in a preoccupation with social location. For both sexes hierarchical distinctions are differentiated in the same social continuum on the basis of what appears to be individual ascription and achievement. Patterns of gender differentiation merely comprise general paths--different for men, women, and calabai (male transvestites)--that individuals follow in their respective quests to know their social locations. [marriage customs, gender systems, South Sulawesi, interpretive anthropology]

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