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The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses
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The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
The "woman question," this book asserts, is a Western one, and not a proper lens for viewing African society. A work that rethinks gender as a Western contruction, The Invention of Women offers a new way of understanding both Yoruban and Western cultures. Oyewumi traces the misapplication of Western, body-oriented concepts of gender through the history of gender discourses ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published January 1st 1997)
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Sara Salem
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very thought-provoking book about the ways in which Western gender categories have been imposed on African contexts. She shows that in Nigeria, society was not stratified along the lines of a binary understanding of gender, but more along the lines of elder/youth.
Grace
The central thesis of the book concerning gender (or lack thereof) in Yoruba society is well-argued but its post-structuralist trappings (especially in the first chapter) are iffy
6655321
So this is more a 3.5 star book because a lot of it is critiques that you can find in a lot of publications at this point (although this is a very early articulation of them), i.e. "woman" as constructed in western discourse and "sex" as a corollary are socially defined terms that contain inherent metaphysical properties. However, this is also a really awesome book on investigating that claim by comparing how male/female were imposed colonially in and how pre-contact systems of sociability and e ...more
Amy
Apr 12, 2008 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Amy by: Mallory and LHS
Haven't gotten to it yet but really want to read it.
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Oyèrónkẹ Oyěwùmí is a feminist scholar and associate professor of sociology at Stony Brook University. She was born in Nigeria and attended the University of Ibadan and the University of California at Berkeley.

Her 1997 monograph, The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses, won the American Sociological Association's 1998 Distinguished Book Award in the Gender and
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More about Oyèrónkẹ́ Oyěwùmí