Anderson, Jon W.. Social structure and the veil: comportment and the composition of interaction in Afghanistan

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Title: Social structure and the veil: comportment and the composition of interaction in Afghanistan

Published in: Anthropos -- Vol. 77, no. 3/4

Published By: Anthropos -- Vol. 77, no. 3/4 Salzburg, Oesterreich: Zaunrith'sche Buch-, Kunst- und Steindruckerei, 1982. 397-320 p.

By line: Jon W. Anderson

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2002. Computer File

Culture: Pashtun (AU04)

Subjects: Gender status (562); Social relationships and groups (571); Etiquette (576); Household (592); Sexuality (831); General sex restrictions (834);

Abstract: Among the Ghilzai Pashtun of Afghanistan, women are veiled or secluded from those men in the society with whom there is a potential for marriage. According to Anderson avoidance is mutual between men and women; he says that ...'men 'veil` too -- and cognate behaviors occur in other relationships where differentiation is deemphasized as the focus of interaction' (p. 397). Two forms of symbolism associated with the veil are HAJAH or extreme politeness and a 'rough' mode of interaction between individuals in which relationships are framed in terms of differences between participants. The author's interpretation of the ways in which the veil is used and the placement of the veil in the context of meaings seem to suggest that its significance is not so much to keep men and women apart but to bring them together by regulating the terms in which they are socially present. Changes in the practice are consistent with alterations of social contexts rather than with changes in ideas about the identities of men and women (p. 397).

Document Number: 26

Document ID: au04-026

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 419-420)

Field Date: no date

Evaluation: Ethnologist-5

Analyst: John Beierle ; 2001

Coverage Date: not specified

Coverage Place: Ghilzai Pashtun, Afghanistan

LCSH: Pushtuns

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