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date: 09 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the treatment of civilization as a concept and phenomenon in feminist scholarship from the late 1970s until the present. How have feminist scholars understood and approached civilization and its relation to gender and/or women? In what ways have these interventions contributed to and challenged more mainstream scholarship on civilization, particularly on the West and Islam? The chapter begins with a discussion of feminist treatments of civilizations as bounded sociocultural entities and the role of women and men therein. It then continues with a longer analysis of the alternative feminist understanding of civilizations as discourses that are contextually unfolding. In this understanding, gender and the status of women are implicated in the production as well as challenging of civilizational boundaries and hierarchies. The chapter ends with suggestions for the direction of future research, including a call to more directly engage central civilizations scholarship that is inattentive to gender.

Keywords: civilization, the West, Islam, gender, women, hierarchy

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