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date: 30 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the influence of feminist theories on theory construction, self-conception, and the public perception of archaeology and its various sub-disciplines. The theoretical foundations of gender archaeology are also considered. As there are many feminist theories as well as archaeologies, the chapter also summarizes what can be described as broad sets of overlaps, and to an extent simplifies the variety of different points of view. Feminist criticism as well as new questions, models, and methods based on it reached archaeology in the 1980s, later than the other humanities. Initial efforts could be classified as women’s studies that mostly aimed to balance a male-biased view of the past by adding a female view to it. Since the 1990s, the term ‘gender’ with its various aspects is the focus of discussion. The number, convertibility, and history of genders are also important topics. In addition, feminist archaeology focuses on archaeology’s own institutions, their social rules, their language, and their image, which are also linked to the gender expectations of the surrounding society. These aspects are also connected to the way images of the past are presented to the public, and which effects they have on gender discourses.

Keywords: feminism, gender, history of archaeology, womens’ studies, male bias, standpoint theory, gender theory, dichotomy, poststructuralism, equity issues, images

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