Embracing complexity : an analysis of gender status in South American societies
This study analyzes the status of women and men in eight South American societies, as reported in ethnographies. It uses a multidimensional model of status, examined in two aspects (distribution of economic goods and child care), and compares women's and men's resulting status configurations within societies and among them. Overall, women's statuses are highest in the domestic domain and lowest in the political public area for both variables. Men have high statuses in all areas of distribution, especially the public. Women generally have less choice than men do in their participation in both variables. An important outcome of this study is a method for analyzing qualitative information in context, allowing the researcher to present analysis in as much context as is appropriate, then display the results in a comparable form. This thesis also includes status flexibility, an innovation which allows presentation of the range of statuses for women and men.