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Introduction

Our emphasis on research is complemented by a critical engagement with classic and more recent theoretical orientations in the field of anthropology. The research and teaching interests of the Department range from the anthropology of development, economic anthropology, gender and feminism, kinship studies, the anthropology of religion and symbolic systems, psychological anthropology, medical anthropology, to colonialism, power, identity, and globalization.

The undergraduate program aims to present the main themes and trends in cultural and social anthropological thought and practice and thereby to nurture critical, intercultural, and reflexive perspectives as part of liberal education.


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In doing so, it seeks to foster understanding of the transformation of society and culture in Egypt and the region. The program also engages with other parts of the world, such as Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Our aim is to prepare students for graduate studies and for living and working in an increasingly complex and changing world. Anthropology Major. Antrhopology Minor. Anthropology Faculty. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Please enable scripts and reload this page.

Islamic feminism: A contradiction in terms?

Turn on more accessible mode. I will return to those italicised words in a moment. Notwithstanding important differences among these, and others who have helped shape this theoretical space e. What began as a theorisation of the relationship between gender and class is being recalibrated by a new generation of SRF theorists and activists.

Family: definition, types of family (Social anthropology and cultural anthropology)

More recent work grapples with how not just gender, but also race, colonialism, sexuality and other oppressions are implicated in the necessary but contradictory relationship SRF identifies as a defining feature of capitalist societies. This may sound a lot like some articulations of Intersectionality Feminism.

Sociology and Anthropology

And indeed, certain key Black Feminist and Intersectionality Feminist insights into the co-constitution of social relations inspire and inform this new thinking in SRF. Two other points about SRF can be made here briefly. First, it is an historical materialist analysis. Historical specificities matter a great deal.

go to site Conditions and forms of oppression change over time. Neither of those experiences was commonplace years ago.


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Yet, that historical change is not arbitrary, or contingent simply on the ideas of those struggling for reform. Rather, it is constrained by the conditions of possibility that capitalism prescribes. There are some social practices and institutions — such as fully socialised childcare — that capitalism cannot bear. SRF always keeps this in mind.

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Second, SRF moves beyond describing what capitalism looks like and how it changes, through its analysis of the relationship between processes of producing human labour power, and processes of producing value. It is necessary because capitalists need human labour power, an essential condition of value production which they do not produce themselves. It is contradictory because capitalists must — in order to remain competitive — create conditions whereby meeting human needs is subordinated to accumulation. They must constrain and control the wages and social spending that pay for the renewal of the workforce, and of life itself.

SRF provokes us to examine the ways in which seemingly independent sets of relations those that play out in racial, gendered, sexualised, colonialised ways are part and parcel of a capitalist class dynamic of dispossession and accumulation. It bids us to examine labour not simply as a component of value creation, but as a living, concrete relation that is situated within a multiply inflected sociality.

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SRF further reminds us that what capitalists truly need and want is not labour or labourers, but alienated labour. It means that, always and everywhere, the bodies and minds of workers can and do push back against the dehumanising dynamic they are part of.

For Marx, capitalism is a broad social formation. But he stops short of analysing the social relations that are drawn into that reproduction — treating the process of reproduction rather technically, as a matter of skill-transmission, or immigration policies, or biological regeneration. Marx does not explore the gendered relations within the family as part of those wider social relations. And while he notes that there is a necessary but contradictory relationship between life-making and profit-making, he does not elaborate upon it in ways that help us to better understand non-economic oppressions.