Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Intimate Others: Marriage and Sexualities in India

Intimate Others: Marriage and Sexualities in India
Edited by Samita Sen, Ranjita Biswas and Nandita Dhawan
demy octavo pb 482pp ISBN 978-81-960760-1-4 Rs 450 Published Jan 2011

Although the challenge to the hegemonic status of the institution of marriage in India is grabbing the limelight in popular media, it has received comparatively less attention in the social sciences. This path-breaking collection presents an analysis of marriage from historical, social, cultural, psychological and legal perspectives. Some of the essays argue that marriage continues to retain its prime overwhelming importance in reproducing the social order and its claim to be the only legitimate structure of the family rather than one among many. Nevertheless, changes wrought by globalization, by information technology and by the increasing social visibility of queer life forms and practices have had considerable impact on the homogeneous imagination of the ‘Indian family’, with the traditional marriage system as its base.  The essays in this collection look beyond the institutional framework of marriage to critique the structures of our everyday lives and to explore new horizons and possibilities in the domain of the intimate.

 The collection is divided into four Parts: IHistoricizing Marriage: Marriages Are Made in Scriptures’, II ‘Contextualizing Marriage: Class, Caste, Masculinity and Violence’, III Representing Marriage: Sex, Conjugality and Videotapes’, and IV ‘Recasting Marriage.: Singlehood, Coupledom and Intimate Others’.

Samita Sen is director, Ranjita Biswas is lecturer and Nandita Dhawan project coordinator, School of Women Studies, Jadavpur University.

Contributors: Janaki Abraham, Aparna Bandyopadhya, Geetika Bapna, Hardik Brata Biswas, Ranjita Biswas, Aishika Chakraborty, Prem Chowdhry, Nandita Dhawan, Diya Dutta, Swati Ghosh, Nishi Mitra, Navaneetha Mokkil, Madhurima Mukhopadhyay, Pooja Nair, Ranjana Padhi, Rekha Pappu, Samita Sen and Neelanjana Sengupta.

Published by: Stree
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'The traditional image of the ‘Indian family’ has been disrupted by the growing influence of globalization and information technology, as well as by the increased “social visibility” of homosexual relationships and other forms of intimacy. The institution of marriage has also acquired explosive political significance in recent years. This collection of essays also takes into account factors that have challenged the “hegemonic status” of this institution in Indian society.'
The Telegraph, 4 March 2011

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