Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Contrary To James DeMeo...................

Contrary To Jim DeMeo...................

Matriarchy and Islam Post 9/11: A Report from Indonesia
Published in Anthropology News, Vol. 43, No. 9, Dec. 2002, page 7.
by Peggy Reeves Sanday

One of my passions as an anthropologist is to write ethnography that speaks simultaneously to anthropology by building empirically grounded conceptual frameworks and to the public by exploding outmoded Western stereotypes. My recently published ethnography of the Minangkabau presents a conceptual framework for rethinking matriarchy and challenges the stereotype of Islam as universally subordinating women. Among the largest and most modern of Indonesia' s ethnic groups (four million in their home province West Sumatra and four million elsewhere) the Minangkabau are well known in Indonesia for their "matriarchal" social system and dedication to Islam.
The book, Women at the Center: Life in a Modern Matriarchy (2002), focuses on a complex of customs called adat matriarchaat. These customs include matrilineal descent and women' s ceremonial roles. Adat matriarchaat is part of the pre-Islamic cultural tradition called adat Minangkabau. Because of the degree to which the Minangkabau tie adat to Islam in the modern period, I was challenged to explain how the supposedly patriarchal Islam came to be bound to a social system identified as matriarchal. [more-->]

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