Author: Margrit Pernau
Imtiaz Ahmad/Helmut Reifeld
Editor: Margrit Pernau, Imtiaz Ahmad and Helmut Reifeld
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761996184
Both family and gender are topics that have been discussed and debated at length. However, in recent years there has been a growing recognition that the two need to be studied together in order to understand their interdependence. Keeping this in mind, the contributors to this volume concentrate on four major propositions:
In the same way that gender cannot be culled directly from the biological sex, the concept of family does not follow naturally from the ties of blood but involves a cultural construction.
It is no longer valid to regard the family as an anthropomorphic entity which plans and acts with one voice, its good being the good of every single member of the family, but necessary to see it as a space not only of harmony, but also of power relations. This involves a consistent gendering of the family and a reading of the traditional images of the family with a regard sharpened by gender awareness.
Far from being a private refuge protected from the onslaught of political forces, the family is decisively shaped by society and state. The distribution of functions between the family and other social institutions is open to constant negotiation.
To sharpen our understanding of the interaction of normative images of the family and social reality, it is necessary to focus on the margins of the family and to investigate those forms of living which either refuse to correspond to the traditional notion of the family or which are, for social or economic reasons, denied access to this model.
These themes are dealt with in the four corresponding sections of the volume, the first covering the social history of the family; the second concentrating on images and symbolic practices; the third emphasizing the interaction between the family and the state; and the last stressing the fault lines of the family. An important feature of this volume is that it brings together perspectives from Germany and India, which together de-naturalize, de-biologise and de-mythologise the concept of family within the medium of gender.
Exploring important themes relating to both gender and family and their interface, and providing a unique cross-cultural perspective, this volume will be of interest to scholars and students in the fields of gender studies, family studies, sociology, social anthropology, political science and cultural studies.
Family: A Gendering and Gendered Space
SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE FAMILY
Between the Ideal and the Real: Gender relations within the Indian Joint Family
The Persisting Image versus Economic and Demographic Changes: The Three-Generation House-hold in Europe
The Diverse Life-worlds of Indian Childhood
IMAGES AND SYMBOLIC PRACTICES
The Householder, grhastha, in the Mahabharata
Motherhood and Female Identity: Religious Advice Literature for Women in German Catholicism and Indian Islam
Changing Masculinities in Central Europe: Duelling and it Aftermath
Virtuous Mother, Virile Hero and Warrior Queen: The Conception of Gender and Family in Hindutva
THE FAMILY AND THE STATE
Gender and Family: State Intervention in India
State Interest in the Family: Social Change and Social Policy in Germany
Gender in Governance: Women, Family and Constitutional Panchayats of Contemporary India
The Marginal Families
Politics of Gender and Class: Women in Indian Industries
Private Crimes and Public Sanction: Violence against Women in the Family
About the Editors and Contributors