Guided Reading Form:
Herdt’s “Fetish and Fantasy in Sambia” pp. 44-98
What is this chapter’s overall claim (a.k.a. finding, main point, thesis, conclusion)? The key problem of this chapter is actually represented by the Men’s attachment to the Janus-faced fetish and its relation to a culturally constituted fantasy. He begins to decipher how exactly this right of passage exists from becoming a boy to a man. He discusses the use of the flute that seemingly becomes an erotic tool it is used to instill both fear and arousal into the boys. This tool helps the boys to shift there frame of mind to be more accepting of certain things in this case homosexual acts. The statements about how drinking semen or eating the penis will allow the boys to grow up big and strong provides a “sense” of proof to the boys that this method seems to hold true. His final explanation of the use of this deals with the fact that the flute allows boys and women to feel some kind of erotic feelings when the music is played. Yet, men are not affected by this flutes sound thus showing their ruling over women and even themselves. With this the flute seems to be a symbolic feature that the Sambia use to differentiate between their new phases of life.
What kind of research did Herdt do that he is presenting in this chapter to ground his claim? List each of the categories/kinds of evidence he presents to support his argument. Make it clear what research activities he undertook, where, and with whom to produce these data. Herdt used longitudinal case studies that actually display events from individual boy’s experience. He actually was able to live with the specific individuals where the boy’s and actually men would verbally recount their experiences throughout his stay. He tried to use each aspect of his visit to gain data by acting as an outsider, interviewer, and friend to actually fit in. Trust had to be developed so that one could begin to know that...
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