Gender, reason and agriculture: A hundred years of negotiated development in the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania
AdvisorPark, Thomas K.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe subject of this dissertation is the negotiation of gender relations and ideologies in the matrilineal communities of Mgeta Division in the Uluguru Mountains of Tanzania. The dissertation revisits social theories that emphasize the importance of hierarchical binaries such as public/private, and production/reproduction in understanding social inequities. The analysis reworks these theories by focusing on the active construction (and dismantling) of these separate spheres. Through an understanding of the multiple, conflicting and intersecting relations of space, work and gender, the research will describe the active negotiations over the division of labor. Of particular interest is the construction of a "rational masculinity," expressed in development discourse as the wisdom, organization and planning necessary to success in "modern," capitalist agriculture. The study highlights the interconnections between this discourse and rural social histories and conflicts, including the creation of a local elite of farming and business leaders, the organization of state power and relations of rule, and shifts in the meanings and relations of kinship. This dissertation also describes a counter-hegemonic gender discourse in Mgeta that is based in the symbolic and material interdependence between husbands and wives. Ideals of reciprocity and interdependence are invoked through the spatial organization of work and other daily activities, challenging, but at the same time circumscribed by, class and gender hierarchies. In this dialogue between the global and the local, gender ideologies are analyzed not as just an effect or by-product of capitalism, but as a central aspect of the meaningful context in which action takes place (Roseberry 1991:42). In Mgeta there is no single gender ideology following from the single determining force of capitalist agriculture. Instead there are multiple and shifting ideologies that express and shape a whole range of social processes. Here I try to examine some of the intersections and conflicts and the different ways in which the farmers of Mgeta create common sensibilities about self, place and history.
Degree ProgramGraduate College