The realist induction to document the life of Greek villages associated with ethographia reflected the construction of the category of “woman” in late-nineteenth century public discourses as crucial for the continuity of the nation and simultaneously excluded from its political community. An analysis of two ethographies reveals social perceptions of gender roles in the context of the final stages of the “Cretan Question.” Ioannis Damvergis’s “The Martyr” rehearses a nationalist conception of precarious womanhood, which affected a symbolic inversion of female reproductive capacities. Ioannis Kondylakis’s Patouchas offers a more varied account of the social change that accompanied the rise of urban professional classes to power and the close interconnection of gender, kinship, and politics by introducing the figure of the dangerous “new” woman. Both stories were in fact deeply gendered renditions of the antagonism in an all-male political community, in view of the profound social and cultural changes associated with modernity.


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pp. 81-109
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