Sworn Virgins of Albania DB

Respond to the passage’s below


Assignment A:


  1. How do the sworn virgins of Albania help to explain what gender is? Apply Functionalism: How was this custom functional for this society?

How I gather this, the sworn virgins of Albania explain gender as gender socialization. The males and females have two different roles in their culture. The women stay home and tend to the house and take care of the children while the men are the “head of house” and work to provide for the family.

2)Apply Symbolic Interaction-ism: How do symbols underlie and maintain a women’s shift to becoming a man in this society?

The women basically “become a man.” They wear men clothing, they are free to go into society. They provide for, protect and make all of the decisions for the family. They are able to drink with the men in taverns, carry guns and own property. These are all symbols of being a man in their culture and society. I feel like in a sense they gain some sort of respect from the men for stepping up to take on the male role for their families.

3)Apply Conflict theory: How do power relations between men and women underlie this practice?

When there are is no longer a male to provide and protect his family, the power roles reverse in this type of situation, women (one woman) will step up to take his place for means of survival.


Assignment B:


1. Gender to the sworn virgins of Albania is Actions. Acting like a man and taking on the role of a man is taking on that gender. You don’t have to have an operation or be deemed a lesbian if you chose this role. But by their actions of taking over the family, cutting of their hair, swearing to never have sex. They are viewed in society as a man and are expected to act like one and hold a job like them. This custom was functional to this society because it allowed households that did not have the male figure in them to have one. Women were not allowed to do anything at the time this custom was popular, so these Sworn virgins took on that role.

2. These women were viewed as men. They were allowed to drink in bars, pray in mosques and were expected to be the hierarchy in their families that traditional women were not allowed to do.

3. Power relations is- set of roles, behaviors and attitudes that societies define as appropriate for women and men. This practice is built on that. Women are not allowed to do anything in this society besides cook, clean and shop. So a “Man” has to step up and take care of that family. That is where the Virgins come in. They must become a man for their family to survive.


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