Article published in:The Expression of Inequality in Interaction: Power, dominance, and status
Edited by Hanna Pishwa and Rainer Schulze
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 248] 2014
► pp. 49–79
Sexual network partners in Tanzania
Labels, power, and the systemic muting of women’s health and identity
This qualitative analysis of transcripts from focus groups with men and women in Tanzania explores how patriarchal power is reflected in labels used to describe individuals who engage (or not) in multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships. Label research and muted group theory provide theoretical frames to assess how sexual network-related labels are used by women and men. The use of power-embedded labels was found to show women’s identities and agency as muted while maintaining gender inequality through language. Ramifications for sexual health interventions developed in contexts undergoing economic development, increasing egalitarianism, and social modernization are discussed.
Published online: 12 June 2014
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