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Chapter Twelve Conclusion Charting a Way Forward Holly F. Mathews and Adriana M. Manago The authors in this volume have endeavored to shed light on some of the psychological underpinnings of patriarchy by analyzing the perspectives of women residing in what we have referred to as the patriarchal belt and its colonies , borrowing from Deniz Kandiyoti’s (1988) formulations. A central question driving our analyses is why women uphold or resist certain patriarchal customs even as their foundations shift with globalization, increased formal schooling, and myriad economic changes associated with declines in subsistence agriculture . The very question of women’s accommodation could be critiqued on the grounds that we are presupposing that women have options for resistance. In other words, one could conclude that women accommodate to men’s power because they have no other choice. Yet as we discussed in the introduction to this volume, Saba Mahmood (2005) and others have warned that we must be careful to separate notions of agency from concepts of the liberal autonomous subject that are particular to Western cultural world views. Participating in cultural practices does not necessarily equate with reduced agency; in fact, agency is required for inhabiting cultural norms. Unlike Mahmood, who locates agency on the cultural-discursive level, developmentalist Gisela Trommsdorff (2012, 19) locates agency in psychological processes and asserts that children learn over the course of development to intentionally act to selfregulate by “organizing inner mental processes and behavior in line with cultural values, social expectations, internalized standards, and one’s self-construal.” Socialization is an active psychological process of synthesizing and coordinating . Humans construct ways of understanding themselves and the world in order to organize and direct their behaviors and to satisfy fundamental human needs for connection and self-preservation in a given social environment. The varied and complex psychological processes and external constraints 235 illuminated by the contributors to this volume are not the only ones involved in women’s responses to patriarchal beliefs and practices. Indeed, we contend that there is no one overall explanation for the persistence of patriarchy; rather, its adaptability and fragmentation require careful and localized empirical investigation to account for its remarkable persistence and to formulate multifactorial explanations for women’s psychological responses to it. These chapters begin that process and map out a range of practices from child socialization and family communication patterns to the construction of the relational self and the forging of intrapsychic autonomy, and from the internalization of competing discourses and the formation of cultural compromise solutions to the use of gossip, stigma, and violence. Each of these operates, sometimes in conjunction with others, to influence the range of women’s responses to patriarchal beliefs and practices. This list is not exhaustive, but it represents a starting point on a project that we hope others will take up and expand on. One limitation of this volume is that we do not directly address men’s understandings of patriarchy. This is not because we do not think such a project is important—indeed, we believe it to be a vital next step—but because our initial efforts drew on the types of data that we as female researchers working in other cultures had greatest access to and interest in collecting. These data, however, present only a partial picture. Many of our contributors provide tantalizing glimpses into the worlds of men, which need further investigation and analysis. For example, why do the fathers of Susana and Salma defy community sentiments and push for the education of their daughters, while immigrant husbands in Ankara beat their wives? We need more information on how men understand patriarchy and why some aspects of it are persuasive whereas others seem less compelling and more open to change. Scholars such as Matthew Gutmann (1997, 2006) in Mexico and Steve Derné in India (1995, 2000) have begun this process of examining how men’s conceptions of masculinity are shaped in relationships with women and families. We hope that a second conference and subsequent volume bring together a different team of researchers to further these efforts. Any account of institutions, interpersonal dynamics, and identities that reproduce patriarchy is incomplete without both women’s and men’s voices. Although the authors in the current volume did not interview men, an important concept represented across all disciplines is hegemonic masculinity, which Connell and Messerschmidt (2005, 832) summarize as ideals of manhood that are premised on women’s subordination to men and that require all men to position themselves hierarchically...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780826360847
Related ISBN
9780826360830
MARC Record
OCLC
1124609064
Pages
296
Launched on MUSE
2019-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
No
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