Gender, power and shame in Anôsy (Madagascar)

Working paper de Dominique Somda

This text concerns the humble power of audacious women. In Anôsy (south-east of Madagascar), opportunities to access influent positions may multiply, in the context of democratization and globalization, but the power women gain is always ambivalent. Women in Anôsy share with slave descendants a very embodied humility. The examination of the trajectories of two powerful women suggest that some women can become "great women" if they are able to convert shame into authority and invert some core values attached to the powerfulness of ordinary men.

The author

Dominique Somda supported her thesis of anthropology in 2009, "And the real would be past. The Secret of Slavery and the Imagination of Society (Anôsy, South-East of Madagascar) "prepared by the Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociology (University Paris Ouest Nanterre) under the direction of Maurice Bloch (London School of Economics ). Her researches explore the contemporary coexistence of Hierarchy and equality in southern Madagascar. She completed her first postdoctoral stay at the London School of Economics and taught as a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania.


Dominique Somda. Une humble aura. Les grandes femmes au sud de Madagascar. FMSH-WP-2014-56. 2013.<halshs-00937295>

Mis à jour le
28 January 2014

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