Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 765–787 | Cite as

Introduction to “Binary Binds”: Deconstructing Sex and Gender Dichotomies in Archaeological Practice

  • Lara Ghisleni
  • Alexis M. Jordan
  • Emily Fioccoprile
Article

Abstract

Gender archaeology has made significant strides toward deconstructing the hegemony of binary categorizations. Challenging dichotomies such as man/woman, sex/gender, and biology/culture, approaches informed by poststructuralist, feminist, and queer theories have moved beyond essentialist and universalist identity constructs to more nuanced configurations. Despite the theoretical emphasis on context, multiplicity, and fluidity, binary starting points continue to streamline the spectrum of variability that is recognized, often reproducing normative assumptions in the evidence. The contributors to this special issue confront how sex, gender, and sexuality categories condition analytical visibility, aiming to develop approaches that respond to the complexity of theory in archaeological practice. The papers push the ontological and epistemological boundaries of bodies, personhood, and archaeological possibility, challenging a priori assumptions that contain how sex, gender, and sexuality categories are constituted and related to each other. Foregrounding intersectional approaches that engage with ambiguity, variability, and difference, this special issue seeks to “de-contain” categories, assumptions, and practices from “binding” our analytical gaze toward only certain kinds of persons and knowledges, in interpretations of the past and practices in the present.

Keywords

Sex Gender Sexuality The body Binaries Intersectionality Practice 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara Ghisleni
    • 1
  • Alexis M. Jordan
    • 1
  • Emily Fioccoprile
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Wisconsin–MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.University of BradfordBradfordUK

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