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Walter, Anna-Maria (2016): Between "pardah" and sexuality: double embodiment of "sharm" in Gilgit-Baltistan. In: Rural Society, Vol. 25, No. 2: pp. 170-183

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Shame is omnipresent in women's lives in the suburban conglomerations of the city of Gilgit in northern Pakistan, in the adjacent villages and nearby valleys. Women express their modesty through shame. Being singled out individually in a society with strict collective orientation turns a woman into an object of gossip and threatens the loss of one's family's honour. Accordingly, the performance of modesty and shame follows an inner drive for self-discipline in front of men and is, speaking with Bourdieu, a significant part of women's "habitus". With the help of Csordas's methodological paradigm of "embodiment" as bodily experience and "preobjective" perception, I analyse shame and sexuality in its public and private context: from gender segregation to the sexual relationship between spouses. There is no gap between conforming to social norms and an inner sense of shame for women in the rural areas in and around Gilgit. Just as Butler describes the power of speech as "performativity", repeated actions inscribe moral ideas into body and soul. Women's continuous physical practice of shame fuses both outer obedience and inner feelings;through "doing shame" the moral code is truly embodied.

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