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Sita's Daughters: Coming Out of Purdah : The Rajput Women of Khalapur Revisited - Leigh Minturn

Sita's Daughters: Coming Out of Purdah

The Rajput Women of Khalapur Revisited

Paperback Published: 1st February 1993
ISBN: 9780195080353
Number Of Pages: 392

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Sita's Daughters vividly recounts the dramatic changes in role and status experienced by Rajput caste women in the Indian village Khalapur between 1955 and 1975. In the 20 years between her now-classic original field study and her follow-up with the same families, Leigh Minturn witnessed a significant decline in the women's observance of a complex system of customs collectively called purdah, which includes the wearing of veils, silence in the presence of senior men and women, the adoption of subservient postures when speaking to men, and the separation of husbands and wives. Her interviews with mothers- and daughters-in-law reveal how changes in purdah customs and religious traditions have allowed them increased access to education and health facilities, control of finances, and autonomy inside and mobility outside of their husbands' households. This work is unprecedented in its depth, scope, and exposition of the intimate details of the lives of Indian women. Minturn's return to her original subjects allowed her to observe firsthand the changes that had transpired during the interim, resulting in the only Indian village field study to span two generations. Having won the trust and confidence of her subjects, the author poignantly conveys their individuality, along with their stories of heroism, loyalty, infidelity, rape, incest, theft, and even murder. With even-handedness and detailed scholarship, Minturn makes use of methods such as systematic sampling and structured interviewing that are effective in capturing the richness of Indian village life, though they are uncommon in anthropological studies. The wide range of issues addressed here will be of interest to students and researchers in women's studies, South Asian studies, anthropology, and cross-cultural psychology, as well as to interested laypersons.

Industry Reviews

"Taking two families for her case study, [Minturn] unfolds her observations in a systematic approach substantiated by a sample of the interviews she had conducted for the purpose....The interviews with the village people are not taken on face value but are always cross-checked with others, to elucidate the accuracy of the facts related by the women. The local proverbs and quotes from the women at the beginning of each chapter are often poignant and focus on the crux of the issues discussed....The author's eye for detail is astounding."--Aruna Srinivasan, Indian Express "Taking two families for her case study, she unfolds her observations in a systematic approach substantiated by a sample of the interviews she had conducted for the purpose. The author's eye for detail is astounding."--Indian Express "[A]llows Western readers to hear some feisty female voices from North India....Minturn's book... contributes valuable substance to a growing body of literature on Indian women's ideas about their own lives." -- History of Religions

PART I: Constancy and Change 1: The Khalapur Rajputs: 1955-1975 PART II: Two Villages: Parent's Haven, Husband's Prison 2: Marriage: From Daughter to Wife 3: Purdah: Respect-Avoidance, Dominance-Submission 4: Changing Times PART III: Economy 5: Land and Dowry 6: Domestic Economy: Chores, Chuulus, Cash, and Clothing PART IV: Religion 7: The Pantheon: One Divinity with Many Names 8: Ritual and Recreation PART V: Women's Nature 9: Women's Nature: Honor and Shakti 10: Widows: Rand, Sati, Bhaktani PART VI: Health and Education 11: Family Planning and Child Health 12: Socialization 13: Education PART VII: Sum and Substance 14: Sita's Daughters: A Profile 15: Towards Equality

ISBN: 9780195080353
ISBN-10: 0195080351
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 392
Published: 1st February 1993
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.42 x 15.52  x 2.59
Weight (kg): 0.55

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