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Gender and Empire$
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Philippa Levine

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199249503

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199249503.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Introduction: Why Gender and Empire?

Introduction: Why Gender and Empire?

(p.1) 1 Introduction: Why Gender and Empire?
Gender and Empire

Philippa Levine

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the British Empire and gender. The British Empire always seems a very masculine enterprise, a series of far-flung sites, dominated by white men dressed stiffly in sporting and hunting clothes, or ornate official regalia. The Empire was, in many ways, a deeply masculine space of this sort, but acknowledging that reality tells only a fraction of the story. Such a depiction obscures both colonized populations, and the growing numbers of colonizing women who also lived and worked in colonial settings. To think about gender and empire, however, is not only to repopulate the stage with a more diverse cast of historical protagonists but to explore social processes and power using sexual difference as a key but by no means unique analytic. The chapter shows that the building of empires themselves cannot be understood without employing a gendered perspective.

Keywords:   British Empire, masculine enterprise, gender, colonized populations, sexual difference

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