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POWER AND PARADOX<br>AUTHORITY, INSECURITY AND CREATIVITY IN FON GENDER RELATIONS<p>by Douglas J. Falen
 

POWER AND PARADOX
AUTHORITY, INSECURITY AND CREATIVITY IN FON GENDER RELATIONS

by Douglas J. Falen

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Power and Paradox is an ethnographic study of contemporary gender relations among the Fon people, the dominant ethnic group in the South of the Republic of Benin, West Africa. The Fon hold a prominent place in African studies for their traditional Vodun (Voodoo) religion and their precolonial slave-trading kingdom of Dahomey, which included powerful female ministers and soldiers. Through an account of contemporary Fon gendered power strategies, highlighted by male perspectives on female power, the present study offers an important ethnographic update to this body of knowledge, as well as to the dialogue between Western and African feminisms, and to cross-gender research methodology.

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