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The well-adjusted misfit

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Chapter Summary

This chapter demonstrates that sofreh is a powerful means whereby women create a unitary identity as 'women' as a sphere of political agency, paradoxically highlighting the contingent nature of gender as something that is not given, but produced through specific activities. It examines that women draw on powers and capacities that they feminize through their actions to accommodate their claims in a context where discourses of morality vie with those of politics and self-interest. The identities they construct for themselves as women are validated by the supernatural context of the ritual itself. In terms of a gender symbolism of renewal and fecundity women's votive sofreh express a collective agency in terms of women's experience of their bodies, through which they lay claims to the reproduction of the human, natural and cosmological worlds.

Keywords: cosmological worlds; gender symbolism; morality; supernatural context; women's sofreh rituals



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