This panel will investigate the ways in which actors caught in situations of extreme political and economic uncertainty routinely respond, through performance and irony, to different sources of pressure related to their gender.
Contexts of armed conflict or chronic economic vulnerability together with the increased influence of global forces (militarization, economic crisis and the development of inequalities, hegemonic extension of development discourses and practices, etc.) deeply impact on gender identities, dynamics and relations. This panel will investigate the ways in which gendered actors caught in situations of extreme political and economic uncertainty routinely respond to these different sources of tension. How do 'subaltern' men and women resist or challenge or compose with the transformations of gender identities and relationships ? We are particularly interested in papers that highlight the ironic and performative dimensions of the ways in which people deal with local norms of gender and global forces which tend to reshape them, and how these unfold in everyday practices. Irony is intended here both as a way to capture and respond to the inconsistencies, contradictions, ambiguities generated by those encounters. Following Marcus (2001), we argue that the ethnographic situations where irony prevails exemplify and document with great acuteness the uncertainty that marks the contemporary world. Caught between local constructions and global politics, the ironies of gender appear to be very useful in the comprehension of the ways in which contemporary uncertainties reshape social realities.