Masculinity in Majma: An Ethnography of Street Healing in Bangladesh

Anam, Mujibul

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Based on empirical research in peri-urban areas in Dhaka, this thesis took the form of an anthropological enquiry into the forms of sexuality popularized by street-canvassers and their advertisement and sale of male potency medicines in Bangladesh. The field study raises as well as explores questions regarding male sexuality and sexual health problems. This study has demonstrated, using ethnographic data, one of the multiple ways in which males’ sexual health problems are being understood and practiced at the street level. Therefore, in this research, the concept of masculine sexuality and its representation in Bangladeshi society is very central. Street canvassers in Bangladesh are one of the primary contributing agents to the representation process of masculine sexuality among rural and urban males. This process is linked to the livelihoods of the canvassers who are not only so-called "traditional healers" but also promoters of "modern" bio-medical ideas. Canvassers primarily produce and sell male potency and enhancement medicines based on their specialization of the male body. This process is reciprocal: Canvassers present an image that sells, which ultimately influences the creation of an idealized estimation of masculine sexuality among the clients. This study has focused on street canvassers' medicine selling situations in order to understand their perceptions and dissemination of "ideal masculinity", and its consequences for male health. It has examined the views and narratives of the canvassers as well as the responses of their clients.

Document type: Master thesis
Date: 2010
Version: Primary publication
Date Deposited: 30 August 2010
Faculties / Institutes: Universitäten / Institute > South Asia Institute / Department of Ethnology
DDC-classification: Medical sciences Medicine
Controlled Subjects: Bangladesch, Sexualität, Männlichkeit
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bangladesch , Sexualität , Männlichkeit , Bangladesh , Masculinity , Sexuality ,
Subject (classification): Medicine
Countries/Regions: Bangladesh
Series: Subjects > Health and Society in South Asia Series
Volume: 7