Masculinities and Femininities in Female Genital Mutilation Ceremonies in Kuria, Kenya



This article explores constructions of masculinities and femininities in cultural ceremonies.
It is based on data collected during the 2014/2015 female circumcision ceremonies
in Kuria, Kenya. It draws on Fairclough’s critical discourse analysis
framework and Sunderland’s gendered discourses approach to examine how language
is employed in reinforcing and maintaining gendered relations and asymmetrical
power positions in a sociocultural setting. In most instances findings reveal
hegemonic masculinity and femininity where men are constructed as dominant and
women are subordinated. However, there are cases where alternative contradicting
discourses are articulated. The goal of the article is to raise awareness regarding the
role of discourse in the legitimation of unequal gender and power relations in sociocultural

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