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By Jane Fishburne Collier, Sylvia Junko Yanagisako

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Extra info for Gender and Kinship: Essays Toward a Unified Analysis

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With the simultaneous rise of states and classes, the development of dis­ tinct sectors is an ineluctable-if uneven-process: "A state system must be structured to ensure that the acquisition of resources by an elite is institutionalized, and is, to a large extent, accepted . . Feminism, Kinship Theory, and Structural "Domains" 63 One of the mechanisms that underwrites the control of a central power over the minds of its population is the separation of society into public and private spheres. State structure and its functions are defined as public.

We expect that the studies we hope to generate by questioning the difference between women and men will, in time, reveal their own problematic as­ sumptions. These will generate new questions that will, in turn, give rise to new strategies and new solutions. ) Part One The Transformation of Cultural Domains Sui genderis: Feminism, Kinship T heory, and Structural "Domains" John L. Comaroff The classical distinction between the domestic and politico-jural domains has loomed large in feminist critiques of established an­ thropological concepts and categories.

If such systems are only capable of their own reproduction, it follows that social prac­ tice can do nothing but realize existing structures. But it is not only in prestate contexts that practice is thus ordained. The account given of the rise of states and classes implies that social action and sociocultural transformation are determined in a similarly mecha­ nistic vein. Insofar as people make their own history, they do so as marionettes acting out a structurally scripted tableau. This, immediately, evokes a number of great debates-between normative and interactionist sociology; between what Worsley (1980) dubs "systems" and "Promethean" Marxism; and between structuralist and phenomenological culture theories.

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