The Native Andean gender system : three interpretive essays
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My dissertation addresses and responds to research and practical interventions on gender in the Andean area. In it, I argue for the native Andean gender system's pertinence as an explanatory variable of past and present gender relations. This gender arrangement's name is 'Complementarity and Parallel Lines of Descent' (CPLD) (Silverblatt, 1985; Harris, 1987; Hardman, 2005; Vieira, 2005); it holds equivalent and complementary functions for women and men inside and outside the home. CPLD prevents women's subordination and the over-valuing of men's actions and characteristics on the basis of women's independent access to vital resources and the non-separation and non-primacy of the productive/public over the reproductive/private sphere (Roel Pineda, V., 1981-83; Lajo, J. 1985-6). Three independent studies show the empirical and theoretical importance of CPLD: 1) social identity observations during socio-anthropological field work on rural-to-urban migration in Lima, Peru (Lloyd, 1981; Herencia, 1985); 2) an historical monograph on CPLD's manifestations in the Tupac Amaru II Rebellion of the 1780's (Herencia, 1999); and 3) a political sociology essay on contemporary social movements in the Andes, seen through the prism of ethnicity and gender (Herencia, 2006). The transformation of gender relations through social identity moments (Study 1) serves to propose the theoretical coexistence and evolution, in a dominant/dominated condition, of engendered Native Andean and Western capitalist socio-cultural systems. For this reason, observations of gender at any point in time should consider the relation between the two. Also hypothetically, the Andean socio-cultural system's distinctive quality may result from Andean women's unrestricted social involvement, in contrast to that in the Western patriarchal capitalist system (and others). From a native people's perspective, conserving worldview and culture in past and present times implies preserving native gender relations. CPLD manifestations are ubiquitous in the Andean socio-cultural system’s traditions, beliefs and practices. Indigenous social movements need to fend off ideological barriers that obscure this gender system's existence, consciously ratifying and honoring the gender relations that continue to sustain the social reproduction of communities in not less than half the population of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and surrounding areas. CPLD's intrinsic merits are indispensable for a genuine response to capitalist patriarchy.
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