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Article Number - 6D18B4D66735

Vol.8(9), pp. 115-123 , November 2017
ISSN: 2141-2626

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Gender identities and the search for new spaces: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise

Eleanor Anneh Dasi
  • Eleanor Anneh Dasi
  • Department of English, ENS, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon
  • Google Scholar

 Received: 18 August 2017  Accepted: 24 October 2017  Published: 30 November 2017

Copyright © 2017 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

There is growing ambivalence in the concept of gender in our societies today principally because its definition has moved from biological to social, implying that gender categories are not simply limited to male corresponding to man and female corresponding to woman, as it was traditionally, but man can now pass for woman and vice versa depending on the individual. These new constructions have contributed to reshaping and reformulating assigned roles and expectations of individuals, along with creating conflict particularly when such roles, attitudes and behaviour are considered non-conformist. In such a situation, there is need for creation of a new space particularly in culturally diverse settings where values conflict with each other. Gurnah’s Paradise is replete with differing notions of gender and the way they are valued, used and trusted. It is from this perspective that this study explores the varying perspectives on gender, that is, gender binary, gender variance and gender fluid, their roles, relationships and representations and how these prompt the search for new spaces within diverse and contradicting cultural settings. Individuals within such settings manifest traits which enforce continuities in creating, structuring and sustaining gender differences. Thus, individuals’ reassertion of their gender positions alongside carving out their own spaces is investigated. By implication, individual’s experience of gender and how it helps in forming their social identities in relation to other members of society is examined. This reveals that no matter how absurd gender categories may seem, they are bound to (co)exist due to diversity in cultures and individual perceptions of self.

Key words: Gender, gender variant, gender expression, masculinities, femininities, sexual identities, new spaces.

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APA Dasi, E. A. (2017). Gender identities and the search for new spaces: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise. International Journal of English and Literature, 8(9), 115-123.
Chicago Eleanor Anneh Dasi. "Gender identities and the search for new spaces: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise." International Journal of English and Literature 8, no. 9 (2017): 115-123.
MLA Eleanor Anneh Dasi. "Gender identities and the search for new spaces: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise." International Journal of English and Literature 8.9 (2017): 115-123.

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