Gender is commonly understood to be the analysis of the social construction of categories of identity (feminine and masculine), as opposed to the biological determinism of physiological sex (female and male). “Gender” is nonetheless often uncritically conflated with “women,” and physiological or biological distinctions cannot be so easily distinguished from social constructions; the social inhabits the physical, which is itself experienced though social understanding.

Body politics refers to the formal and informal structures that shape the embodied experience of social identity; or the analysis of how categories of power are played out on and through actual physical bodies.

Biopolitics is the modern governmental management of populations on both the macro (statistical) and micro (individualized) scale, and the legitimation of the state through its production of its biological subjects (through their enumeration and identification) and its provision for their (economic and social) welfare.

Interdisciplinary work involves multiple academic categories of inquiry, such as methods of scholarship utilized primarily in different disciplines (ethnography in anthropology; archival evidence in history; statistical analysis in sociology). Interdisciplinary work often attempts to transcend the categories of existing disciplines, thus addressing questions across disciplines (interdisciplinary) rather than simply among them (multi-disciplinary).

Intersectionality is the multi-layered and intersecting reality of plural social identities (race, class, gender, religion, ethnicity) existing as both discrete and amalgamated categories of any individual life, or the recognition that identity categories are both dynamic and relational.

Patriarchy refers to the premise that social relations are hierarchically structured according to a familial model based on the (absolute) rule of the father, often specifically applied to the systematic domination of women by men.

The “patriarchal bargain” is accommodation to patriarchal controls in return for expectations of men’s provision of security and support. The concept originated in Deniz Kandiyoti’s essay “Bargaining with Patriarchy” (Gender and Society, September 1988).

Revolution is not merely the unauthorized exchange of governing personnel (a coup), but the upheaval of the social basis of the state and thus the appropriation of governance by a new class of social actors. Revolution can take a very long time.

How to cite this article:

Norma Claire Moruzzi "Glossary," Middle East Report 268 (Fall 2013).

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