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Gender in History: Global Perspectives, 2nd Edition

Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks

ISBN: 978-1-444-35172-9 June 2011 Wiley-Blackwell 248 Pages


Updated with new material to reflect the latest developments in the field, Gender in History: Global Perspectives, 2nd Edition, provides a concise overview of the construction of gender in world cultures from the Paleolithic era to modern times.
  • Includes examples drawn from the most recent scholarship relating to a diverse range of cultures, from Ancient Mesopotamia to post-Soviet Russia, and from the Igbo of Nigeria, to the Iroquois of north eastern North America.
  • Reflects new developments in the field with added coverage of primates, slavery, colonialism, masculinity, and transgender issues
  • Features significant discussion of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, an important trend in the study of world history
  • Lays out key theoretical and methodological issues in an introduction that is written in accessible language
  • Supplementary material for instructors and students available at

Related Resources

Chronological Table of Contents.


1. Introduction.

Sex and Gender.

Gender History and Theory.

Structure of the Book.

The Origins of Patriarchy.

2. The Family.

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (4000 bce–600 bce).

The Classical Cultures of China, India, and the.

Mediterranean (600 bce–500 ce).

Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia in the.

Premodern Era (600 bce–1600 ce).

Medieval and Early Modern Europe and the.

Mediterranean (500 ce–1600 ce).

The Colonial World (1500 ce–1900 ce).

The Industrial and Postindustrial World (1800 ce–2010 ce).

3. Economic Life.

Foraging, Horticultural, and Herding Societies.

(20,000 bce–1800 ce).

Agricultural Societies (7000 bce–1800 ce).

Slavery (7000 bce–1900 ce).

Capitalism and Industrialism (1500 ce–2000 ce).

Corporations, the State, and the Service Economy.

(1900–2010) .

4. Ideas, Ideals, Norms, and Laws.

The Nature and Roles of Men and Women.


Motherhood and Fatherhood.

Ideologies, Norms, and Laws Prescribing Gender Inequity.

Ideologies of Egalitarianism.

5. Religion.

Animism, Shamanism, and Paganism (from 40,000 bce).

Written Religions in the Ancient Near East (from 3000 bce).

Confucianism and Taoism (from 600 bce).

Hinduism and Buddhism (from 600 bce).

Christianity (from 30 ce).

Islam (from 600 ce).

6. Political Life.

Kin Groups, Tribes, and Villages (from 10,000 bce).

Hereditary Aristocracies (from 3000 bce).


Citizenship (500 bce–1800 ce).

Women’s Rights Movements (1800 ce–2010 ce).

Colonialism, Anticolonialism, and Postcolonialism.

(1500 ce–2010 ce).

7. Education and Culture.

Classical and Postclassical Cultures (600 bce–1450 ce).

The Renaissance (1400–1600 ce).

Democracy, Modernity, and Literacy (1750–2010 ce).

8. Sexuality.

Classical Eurasia (600 bce–600 ce).

The Americas (500 ce–1500 ce).

Third Genders.

The Colonial World: Sex and Race (1500–1900).

Modern Sexuality in the West (1750–1950).

The Globalized World (1950–2010).



“This wonderful little volume packs an impressive amount of research into 227 pages… this text makes excellent addition to an ancillary reading list for students who too often receive a seriously abbreviated version of women’s roles in history.”  (World History Connected, 1 February 2013)