Gender Is Defined As A System Of Social, Symbolic, And Psychic Relations Essay

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According to social scientist Donna J. Haraway, the concept of gender is defined as “a system of social, symbolic, and psychic relations, in which men and women are differentially positioned.” Based on this definition, it can be understood that gender is a category that can be used to dictate an individual’s status and role in a given community. When European explorers, missionaries, and settlers arrived in North America between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, their preconceived notions about the roles of men and women influenced their encounters and with indigenous North American tribes and vice versa. Each group used their notions of gender as a way to understand and gage the power of the other. This was the case when the Spanish and French encountered the Hasinais in modern-day Texas and Louisiana and when the English encountered the Algonquians in the tidewater regions of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, both Europeans and Native Americans used their preconceived notions of gender to determine their appearance, their political actions, and their roles and responsibilities within their community. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the Spanish sought to establish permanent settlements along the modern-day Texas and Louisiana border, the region that they deemed the “Land of the Tejas.” Likewise, the French had numerous trading posts along the Mississippi River and began to build their
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