She Comes to Take Her Rights: Indian Women, Property, and Propriety

Front Cover
SUNY Press, 1999 - Political Science - 305 pages
0 Reviews
Using the contemporary workings of property law in India through the lives and thoughts of middle-class and poor women, this is a study of the ways in which cultural practices, and particularly notions of gender ideology, guide the workings of law. It urges a close reading of decisions by women that appear to be contrary to material interests and that reinforce patriarchal ideologies.

Hailed as a radical moment for gender equality, the Hindu Succession Act was passed in India in 1956 theoretically giving Hindu women the right to equal inheritance of their parents' self-acquired property. However, in the years since the act's existence, its provisions have scarcely been utilized. Using interview data drawn from middle-class and poor neighborhoods in Delhi, this book explores the complexity of women's decisions with regard to family property in this context. The book shows that it is not passivity, ignorance of the law, naivete about wealth, or unthinking adherence to gender prescriptions that guides women's decisions, but rather an intricate negotiation of kinship and an optimization of socioeconomic and emotional needs. An examination of recent legal cases also reveals that the formal legal realm can be hospitable to women's rights-based claims, but judgments are still coded in terms of customary provisions despite legal criteria to the contrary.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Women Law and Property in India
1
Women and Property Inheritance Scant and Slippery Footholds
41
Gifts for Alliance Marriage and the Flow of Goods
79
Wo Ayee Hak Lene There She Comes to Take Her Rights The Dreadful Specter of the PropertyOwning Woman
117
Knowing Womens Attitudes toward Wealth and WeilBeing
159
Protecting Property Gendered Identity in the Indian Higher Courts
191
Conclusion Property and Propriety
221
Appendix A
233
Appendix B
241
Notes
247
Bibliography
277
Index
299
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1999)

Srimati Basu is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Depauw University.

Bibliographic information