This book focuses on the social construction of gender in folklore. Based on
culture-reflector approach and critical ethnography, the investigation
scrutinizes the social message of folklore. It examines the portrayal of
women in two forms of folk literature, proverbs and folktales. It aims at
showing whether folk tradition is biased against women or not.
The study is organized into five chapters with different subjects. While the
first and second chapters constitute the theoretical part, the fourth and the
fifth chapters are concerned with the empirical part. The third chapter is about
the methodology adopted in this book. As the study is associated with
ethnography, it adopts different data collection techniques, namely participant
and non-participant observation, the interview and questionnaire. In fact, it
uses methodological pluralism by combining qualitative and quantitative
approaches to have a profound knowledge of Tazrwalt people.
The study concludes that in addition to the function of folklore in providing
information about a culture, it has also other functions, namely indoctrination,
socialization and enculturation. The book reveals that there are many
stereotypes attached to women in folklore. The latter inevitably stresses their
subordination and inferiority. Therefore, it is biased against women regardless
of their social status. The study also unfolds that folk tradition enshrines the
values of patriarchy. It also unveils that besides misrepresenting women,
folklore is also a scope for the subversion of gender-related stereotypes.
The book suggests that an all-inclusive study should not only focus on
gender but also on other variables such as age, social class and level of
education. It also suggests that there should be more research on rural
women and proposes that it’s high time to take into consideration their
economic, social and individual differences. It also puts forward that, though
women are negatively portrayed in folklore, their potential should not be
underestimated; yet, it should be overemphasized. In fact, the present book
shows that women are ready to improve their situation but the government
should help them by establishing more schools, organizations and
associations to ensure social equity. Their situation can also be improved but
with the help of men who should encourage women.