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Balkan Societies of "Social Men": Transcending Gender Boundaries Sociétés balkaniques "des hommes sociaux" dépassant les frontières de genre Las sociedades balcánicas de "hombres sociales": trascender los límites del género

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As transgender identities worldwide have begun to receive attention from students of gender and sexuality, a curious Balkan (but more specifically Albanian) tradition of female-to-male transgender ("sworn virgins") surviving to the present day – an obscure and ambiguous theme until recently – is worthy of sociological attention. The "sworn virgin" phenomenon is studied in a larger, ethno-cultural context, zipping through such complicated – and sociologically contentious – notions as patriarchy, blood-feud, destructive entitlement, etc. It is argued that the "sworn virgins" of the Balkans were forced to become "social men," assuming masculine social and family roles, due to specific economic and social conditions that have historically prevailed in northern Albania, but also in Kosovo and Montenegro. Because all aspects of human life in northern Albania have been regulated for centuries by customary law, known in its codified form as the "Kanun of Lekë Dukagjini," the swearing to remain virgin for life may be considered as an escape mechanism for some women who were forced into unwanted marriages and into relations of extreme economic exploitation and social inequality. Pendant que les identités de transsexuel dans le monde entier commençent à susciter l'attention des scolaires de genre et de la sexualité, une tradition balkanique curieuse de transsexuel de femelle-à-mâle ("vierges assermentées") qui survit toujours – un thème obscur et ambigu jusqu'au récemment – est digne d'un regard sociologique. "Le phénomène vierge assermenté" est étudié ici dans un contexte ethnoculturel plus grand, passant comme un éclair par tells notions compliqués – et des notions sociologiques controversables – comme le patriarche, le sang-inimitié, le droit destructif, etc… On discute que "les vierges assermentés" des Balkans ont été forcés de devenir "les hommes sociaux," prennant des rôles masculins sociaux et de famille, dûs aux conditions économiques et sociales spéci ques qui ont historiquement régné en Albanie nordique, mais également en Kosovo et Montenegro. Puisque tous les aspects de la vie humaine en Albanie nordique ont été réglés pendant des siècles par la droit coutumier, connu sous sa forme codi ée comme "Kanun de Lekë Dukagjini", le serment à rester vierge pendant la vie peut être considéré comme mécanisme d'évasion pour quelques femmes qui ont été forcées à se marier et entrer dans des relations d'exploitation économique et inégalité sociale extrême. Al empezar a recibir atención las identidades transexuales por los estudiosos del género y la sexualidad, es digna de atención sociológica una curiosa tradición Balcánica, más concretamente de Albania, las "vírgenes juramentadas", un tema oscuro y ambiguo hasta recientemente. El fenómeno de las "vírgenes juramentadas" es analizado en un contexto etno cultural más amplio, surcando los complicados y sociologicamente discutidos temas del patriarcado, las contiendas de sangre, el derecho a la destrucción, etc. Parece que las "vírgenes juramentadas" de los Balcanes fueron forzadas a convertirse en "hombres sociales" asumiendo papeles masculinos en la familia y la sociedad debido a especí cas condiciones económicas y sociales que han prevalecido históricamente en el norte de Albania y también en Kosovo y Montenegro. Dado que todos los aspectos de la vida en el norte de Albania han sido secularmente regulados por un código de costumbres, conocido como el "Kanum de Lekë Dukagjini", el juramento de mantenerse vírgenes de por vida puede ser considerado una fórmula para algunas mujeres forzadas a contraer matrimonios no deseados y relaciones de explotación y desigualdad extremas.

Affiliations: 1: Eastern Michigan University, Michigan, USA

10.1163/187188607X163275
/content/journals/10.1163/187188607x163275
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/content/journals/10.1163/187188607x163275
2007-01-01
2016-12-09

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