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Title: Women and death on the Isle of Lewis : the cultural management of a life crisis and the maintenance of gendered identity
Author: MacDonald, Fiona M.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This study examines the involvement of women in responses to death on Lewis, in the Western Isles, focusing especially on the ways in which individuals are always engaged in a process of maintaining a coherent gendered identity. Several themes are given extended investigation and an attempt has been made to undertake, where appropriate, experimental analysis of gender as process. Death and its consequences are seen outside institutional settings, in the home or community, as an extended crisis provoking reactions that are often culturally distinctive. Individual identity is taken as emerging perpetually from ongoing construction processes through actions and understandings shaped within culturally mediated discursive matrices which combine in this constitution (of the idea and the 'realization') of gender. The study offers fresh interpretations of previously collected and new ethnographic and oral traditional material derived from several sources: primary evidence and secondary description in published works; ethnographic documentation, including that from participant observation, interviews and correspondence conducted by the researcher; and primary resources such as interviews and songs in the Archives of the School of Scottish Studies, at the University of Edinburgh. Qualitative analysis is made of local practices and concepts, from the past and present, as founded in both orthodox religion and in 'folk belief', or 'para-religious', tradition, as well as secular custom. Data from other predominantly Protestant and, less often, from Roman Catholic island communities are brought in for comparison.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available