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Jacketed Women

Qualitative research methodologies on sexualities and gender in Africa

Jacketed Women by Jane Bennett
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Over the past decade, there has been an increasing emphasis in African scholarship and research on the importance of understanding sexuality and the issues around it, such as identity, sexual rights and sexuality, reproductive health and rights and gender and political democracy. Despite this, Africa has frequently been found by researchers to be predominantly hostile to any discussion of sexual and reproductive rights, conveying dismay at the notion of women's rights to reproductive freedom, disgusted objection to the idea that gay and lesbian people have civic and human rights and opposed to engagement with issues such as FGM (Kenya), virginity testing (South Africa), Shar’ia interpretations of appropriate sexuality (Nigeria and Sudan), and legal relationships to homosexuality and intersexuality (South Africa). In 2004, the African Gender Institute ran a continental research project, Mapping Sexualities, among the objectives of which was the development of a research methodology suited to carrying out in-depth case studies of the dynamics of gender and contemporary sexual cultures in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda. This book is the result of that research. The chapters cover broad-ranging issues and include questions about what it means to research topics that are unpopular or fraught with the sense of the taboo that underpins much work in sexualities and gender studies. Overall, the diverse pieces within the collection offer the opportunity to see qualitative research not as the ‘poor cousin’ of quantitative studies but as a zone which raises intellectual and political challenges. The book contains photographs by Zanele Muholi, renowned South African photographer of lesbian issues.
University of Cape Town Press; July 2016
209 pages; ISBN 9781920516673
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Title: Jacketed Women
Author: Jane Bennett; Charmaine Pereira; Zanele Muholi
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