Gender subcultures in the wedding tradition of Western Volhynia as a social and mythological structure


Background. The problem of gender today is increasingly attracting interest from traditional cultural researchers, due to a number of different causes. Today, the concept of gender goes beyond the biological and is interpreted in scientific thought as a social sex. The concept of the social sex as a whole is relevant in relation to traditional rites - in particular, in wedding ceremonies in the Portura. That is, according to the rules that existed at that time in the local community, a person could only receive the wedding role that corresponded to her social status, which was actually determined by sex-age criteria. Consequently, in the context of the analysis of traditional culture, social sex is positioned as a combination of sexual and age-related characteristics. The combination of these two parameters is the gender subculture - gender stratification according to the man's age cycles - and is most appropriate for the analysis of gender roles in the family-ritual culture of Ukrainians (hence the notion of children, youth, women and men's subcultures).
Objectives. The objectives of this study are to determine gender and age stratification in the wedding ceremony of Porturia – one of the subareas of historical and ethnographic Western Volyn. 
Methods. The research methodology is based on the system-structured and integrative methods. Scientific novelty: 1) wedding tradition of the Porturia was the first considered in the context of gender; 2) published results of author’s field research during 2011–2015.
Results. The results of the research support the idea that the gender division in the traditional culture of Ukrainians usually reflects the system of social and legal system. In turn, this system was formed in the circle of different stereotypes and notions of life, which in general had common regional features (for example, young boys and girls were required to enter into marriage). However, there were differences at each local level, including in the marriage process. That is why it is expedient to see the possibility to illustrate the peculiarities of the stereotypical system on the example of the wedding tradition of the Porturia, which is one of the few modern studies on the given problem.
Conclusions. In the wedding ceremony of Western Volyn all representatives of four gender subcultures were participated, but the ritual roles of participants were different and depended on the social status of the community. Gender stratification as a social-mythological structure in the wedding ceremony has a clear division of roles in every ceremony, retransmits the social structure of the local population, and also has a direct influence on the formation of ideas about the rules of social organization in children and young people.

130.2 : 392.5 (477.8) + 7.046.1
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