In the most original and ambitious synthesis yet undertaken in
Melanesian scholarship, Marilyn Strathern argues that gender
relations have been a particular casualty of unexamined assumptions
held by Western anthropologists and feminist scholars alike. The
book treats with equal seriousnessand with equal good humorthe
insights of Western social science, feminist politics, and
ethnographic reporting, in order to rethink the representation of
Melanesian social and cultural life. This makes "The Gender of the
Gift" one of the most sustained critiques of cross-cultural
comparison that anthropology has seen, and one of its most spirited
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