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Review of The Seed and Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village society is a book by Carol Delaney

Seed and soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village society is a book by Carol Delaney.  It is compelling because of the issues Delaney focuses on in the society. Gender is the significant issues that Delaney intends to communicate to the society. Work, religion and the procreation that entails the difference in gender are the central points in the book. Delaney highlights women as essential species that men can do anything to have in the society. The act of relating of women with soil is because the land was a valuable asset to the Turkish society. People would do anything to obtain a piece of land. The topic of the book itself shows a metaphoric style of writing by Delaney. The inclusion of Islam as an aspect of showing the religious inclination in the society is a compelling factor that shows the real definition of morals in the society. The Islam aspect places women as the caregivers but not life givers in the society that defines the importance of Islamic religion in the Turkish society. Delaney also uncovers the deeply held assumptions of procreation and the view of the conception by the society. The book aims to show the importance of women, culture, and religion as factors that make a community. The book, therefore, dwells majorly on gender through intrigues, criticisms, joy and religious view in the society.

The fascinating thing about this book is its plot. The uniform organization and continuity in the explanation of the events by the author are quite compelling. She begins the book with the newborn body, proceeds to the family of the newborn and its relationship in the neighborhood, and later focuses on the outside world. The style presents an author who offers her views correctly with the aim of taking the readers thoughts with the contents of the texts for through the imagination of the kind of society the characters hail. After the presentation of the continuity, the author introduces religion. The author dwells on religion mainly Islam and moves the reader’s attention away from the culture embedded in religion. She presents Islam as a valued religion that has some real content.

All the chapters of the book such as the explanation of the beauty of the seed that bursts and open the soil and Musicians from outside are insightful. Furthermore, the structure of traditional authority relations and the inscriptions of the walls that inquire about the place of location and the destination are compelling and place the book as one of the investigative pieces in the society. The arrangement of the chapters from one event to the other in the book presents a real definition of explicit provisions of the facts as they occur in the society whether fictional or in real life.

A compelling idea about the outline of the book is placing the Islam religion as a top-notch religion that promotes an aspect of creations and presents monotheism. Since Islam religion has over the years has faced criticisms and the divergent opinions over their acts in the society. The book vindicates Muslims and explains profoundly about the faith. The aspect interested me, and I was glued to the book with a keen reading of line by line for in-depth knowledge about the religion issue in the Turkish society. The ideals of procreation also make the book essential to the readers. The author provides several definitions of propagation that explains the divergent views on the proliferation. The village defines the procreation as the human analog of divine creation whole monotheism describes it from the genesis point of view in the bible. Although all these definitions relate to the Genesis definition, the opinion in then society differs. The numerous explanations make the book as a delving tool into the carcasses of the procreation and creation history. The author tries to show the society that procreation is not all about sex and biology because religion due to its sacred act might go against the sexual exploits of conception. The different explanation and the view of these ideas make the book exciting and challenging at the same for the readers in the society.

Delaney also explains the cultural practices of the Turkish residents from welcoming of the visitors promoting unity, wedding practices and wedding rituals, relations between relatives and kins, the knowledge about societal values and the beliefs in the act of peaceful co-existence. Some cultural issues and terms used to ask for a process of intercourse such as water is an act of promotion of euphemism in the society to ask as a sense of obedience in the process of procreation. The idea falls in the body of knowledge chapter in the book. Similarly, in the body of knowledge chapter, the representation of the added presents a lubricating item the gender disparity. The female seed does not have the same value of the male seed. The feminine seed fits, therefore, fit only as a matter but not an item that promotes movement in the society. The act represents the gender view of women as inferior in the society.

The author uses the seeds as a metaphor for the process of procreation and the importance of the in-depth analysis of gender. A novice reader of the text should focus on the gender aspects and relate the theme to the procreation factor in the society. In the relatives and friends chapter, the author provides ways promoting unity and sharing in then Turkish village. Men, for instance, visit each other by sharing in the tearooms and discussing the societal matters. Other households enjoy the comfort by watching televisions in their houses as a sign of togetherness. An exciting and encouraging thing about the family set and relation in the Turkish village is their respect to the visitors. In the presence of the visitors, the language formality changed and women were allowed to contribute to the conversation a different case from other periods where men discuss serious matters in the society. Additionally, other villages accorded the visitors their rooms with the men of the house to avoid the inclusion of women in the conversation. The cultural aspect according to me was crude but bound Turkish village dwellers discussed in the text.


The relations between the husband and the wife were also a social one in the village. It ranged from the display of affections, humor, keeping of distance and strong companionship. For instance, Ayse and Durmus show their affections in front of other members of the public an act that was inappropriate according to the cultural beliefs. Due to the strong love, they did not care about what the society would say. The scenario presents a tolerant society where a person faces no conviction for sharing his or her emotion. The author also shows the essence of the kind of companion in the Turkish society as a tool that creates unity and discourages gender disparity.  The virgin birth description in the Turkish belief emphasizes on the natural process of procreation that involves the virgin conception as the story in the Bible where Virgin Mary miraculously conceived of a baby. The natural conception is the idea that lingers among the Turkish villages leading to the exciting belief that readers gain from reading the book. The insightful aspect also comes in when several assumptions in the procreation come up in the book in different chapters. The outline of the book is exciting and provides an in-depth explanation of the metaphors derived from the seed and soil and the cultural, religious and gender implication in the Turkish society.


The book is a true reflection of the events that used to occurred and still occurring in the society according to cultural belief in the society occurrences, family values, gender, and religions. The book accomplishes the roles of identifying the issues that men and women face in the society, their religious inclination in those issues, the treatment of people from some religions and explanation of the core aspects and values of procreation in the society. Although the book assumes some of the beliefs in the society such as Hindu and atheism, its focus in the Muslim religion was a universal religion that faced discrimination is compelling and provides an insight in then society.  From the reading of the book, I learned more about Turkey and the kinds of villages that believes in the traditional, biblical and personal accounts of the procreation. It presents a profound detailed written ethnography of Turkey leading to the exciting encounters I experienced in the process of flipping and keenly reading between the pages of the book. I always derive pleasure in learning more about the culture of other people in the society. The book acts as platforms for the culture presentation leading to my high sense of passion for the book. Additionally, the exploration of the themes of family and the village life in different times from tradition to contemporary, the Islam religion and the beliefs of Turkey as a nation is an insightful stance that Delaney has pulled in my life. When I finished reading the book, I loved the full explanation these cultures and the aspect that religion is very imperative in the social spheres of morality. An outstanding chapter that I always read repeatedly and I cannot stop is The Body of knowledge that explains every aspect that interests every youth in the society.

The clarity of the words and lack of fear or favor in then diction by the author is explicit and presents an individual who does gable with the information she wants to relay to the society. Since some writers shy away from recording these ideas and words in their books due to criticism from religion and society, Delaney presents an author who does not compromise anything making her one of my proffered anthropologists of all time. Gender is another idea that the book focuses on. Gender has been a problem and is still a problem in the society. The book provides a clear description of the plight of women in traditional and contemporary society.  The understanding of the creation of gender explains the attitude of the Turkish and their opinion on gender.  Another score for this book is the extensive use of metaphor in the explanation of the recreation. The presentation of a topic of a book explains and provides a desire for understanding its details. Delaney does this perfectly. She uses the natural plants and a natural resource to describe the different beliefs of procreation and the natural causes of childbearing in the society. The heading attracted me and promoted the desire in my existence to dig deeper into the book and understand the content. The book is, therefore, recommended for the entire generation.

The book provides actual and insightful issues influencing the society. Any reader who has a passion for the occurrences in his or her neighborhoods should not look beyond the text. Its presentation of all the societal issues is a reflection of our personal and family lives. The choice of words also makes it imperative for graduate students to reflect on their writing careers and the freedom of choice of words that presents the ideas they intend to the society without the development of anxiety and procrastination. The book equally shows a society where Muslims has a voice and has value to the societal changes. Therefore, the book is a great work that every individual in the community must and should read for further insights and in-depth knowledge of the societal issues.



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