Perpetual Mourning: Widowhood in Rural India
While the more sensational forms of widowhood--particularly those of the child widow, the 'ascetic', and sati--have long captured the attention of Indians and foreigners, there is an alarming lack of concern for the quiet deprivations experienced by millions of widows in their everyday lives. Perpetual Mourning addresses this gap. Chen systematically examines the relationship between the ideals and the realities of widowhood in rural India. She shows how the ideological constructions of widowhood embedded in orthodox Hindu traditions and texts are manifested in customary practices and norms. Based on rich empirical data and interviews with over 500 widows from nine states, the book provides a complete picture of the day-to-day realities of widows in rural India and of the social and economic challenges widows pose to the social order.
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The Ideal Hindu Woman
Widow From Rajasthan
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Agarwal allowed Andhra Pradesh ascetic Backward Caste Bihar Brahmin widow brother-in-law brothers Chapter Chen childless widows commit suttee communities customary Dayabhaga death ceremonies Devi Dhapu Dreze earn economic father female gender Gujarat Hindu law households headed husband died husband's death husband's land husband's share husband's village ibid ideal ideology in-laws individual widows inherited jewellery Karnataka Kerala kinship Kolenda late husband's levirate lineage lives of widows living arrangements marriage married daughters married sons married women Metha Bai natal home natal village norms orthodox parents patrilineal practice Rajasthan Rajput relatives religious ritual Roop Kanwar rupees rural India sample sati satimatas Scheduled Caste sexual sharecropped shaved social south India status suttee symbols Tamil Nadu term traditional unmarried upper-caste widows Uttar Pradesh Vrindavan Wadley wage labourer West Bengal widow remarriage widowed mother widowhood widows in India widows live widows who live wife woman young widow