Gender–age systems and social change; a Haugaardian power analysis based on research from northern Uganda

Colette Harris

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20 Citations (Scopus)


This paper studies power through data focusing on gender – age relations gathered ethnographically among the Acholi of northern Uganda. It analyses these data through a framework combining Haugaard ’ s notions of dispositional, episodic and discursive/tacit power, with Arendt ’ s ideas on authority, and Bourdieu ’ s on disposition and habitus. I suggest using ethnographically collected data makes an important contribution to studying power and propose replacing the idea of gender and power as a simple binary relationship with the concept that gender – power relations are always crossed with multiple modalities, among which, for gerontocratic settings like most in Africa, age holds particular signi?cance. I conclude that gender analysis based on the local habitus is critical for empirical explorations of social interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-492
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Political Power
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2012


  • power
  • gender
  • Haugaard
  • social change
  • masculinities
  • Bourdieu

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