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American Ethnologist

Warriors, hunters, and Bruce Lee: Gendered agency and the transformation of Amazonian masculinity

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ABSTRACT

In this article, I examine the ways in which young Waorani men in Amazonian Ecuador express specific generational forms of masculinity in reference to past violence, urban intercultural relations, and global film imagery. By drawing on Amazonian and anthropological conceptualizations of “gendered agency,” I consider how emerging masculine fantasies point to young men's reduced ability to demonstrate particular forms of agency associated with male elders and ancestors. I suggest that a Waorani “masculinity crisis” in the wake of social and economic transformation has not led to the gendered antagonisms and violence toward women familiar to studies of “hegemonic” masculinities.

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