Monday, February 7, 2011

Intimate Others: Marriage and Sexualities in India

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 behind and beyond the institutional framework of marriage to critique the structures of our everyday and to explore new horizons and possibilities in the domain of the intimate.
 The collection is divided into four parts, moving from a historical perspective to present-day concerns: Part I, ‘Historicizing Marriage: Marriages Are Made in Scriptures’; Part II, ‘Contextualizing Marriage: Class Caste, Masculinity and Violence’; Part III, ‘Representing Marriage: Sex, Conjugality and Videotapes’; and Part IV, ‘Recasting Marriage: Singlehood, Coupledom and Intimate Others’.
Some of the essays have been based on a project undertaken by the School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University, to examine the class, caste and community coordinates of present-day marriages in Kolkata.  The project was funded by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Germany.  

Samita Sen is Director, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.

Ranjita Biswas is Lecturer, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.
Nandita Dhawan is Research Coordinator, School of Women’s Studies, Jadavpur University.
ISBN 978-81-906760-1-4, Rs 450

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