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‘It is just culture’: Eight young people’s perception of the gender roles in Zambia
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study explores eight young people’s perception of the gender roles in Zambia, Lusaka. In this study I have asked the informants to define the genders and the result were that the genders are defined based on the biological sexes. The genders therefore become homogenous based on the male and female sex. The regulations of the genders were traditionally also based on assumed ‘biologically natural characteristics’. As I argue in this study that gender roles are social constructed I also present the socialization processes in the Zambian culture regarding initiation ceremonies and premarital ceremonies, which visualizes the regulations of the gender roles and the importance of marriages as it implies social status and identity.

The young informants’ perception of the gender roles was based on a complex intermixture between the cultural norms, the Western influences and their own life experiences. This means that Zambian society is changing in response to external as well as internal influences and that globalization both facilitates change and may create problems, as different values and norms collide. The informants recognized a need of change in the perception of the gender roles due to the issues that the gender hierarchy contributes to. This study also discusses the fact that cultural norms causes lack of knowledge about sexual issues, which have devastating consequences. The informants argued that the cultural perception of a man as superior and the woman as inferior caused gender based violence, domestic violence and the HIV-epidemic to continue. Based on the informants awareness that many of the social challenges exist because of the patriarchal norms in society I argue that this awareness indicates that a change is in progress.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 64 p.
Keyword [en]
Gender roles, young people, sexual health, HIV/AIDS, Zambia, Christianity, gender based violence, domestic violence
National Category
Social Anthropology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97614ISRN: LIU-IKK/SANT-A--13/003-SEOAI: diva2:649343
Subject / course
Social Anthopology
Available from: 2013-09-18 Created: 2013-09-18 Last updated: 2013-10-11Bibliographically approved

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Department of Culture and CommunicationFaculty of Arts and Sciences
Social Anthropology

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