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"The Daughters-in-Law Have Become the Mothers-in-Law":: How New Forms of Capital Create Class Differences Within North-Indian Households
2016 (English)In: Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers, ISSN 2446-0001, no Special Issue, 54-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article explores how larger socio-economic transformations affect authority structures in rural households in the Indian Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, focusing particularly on women. It is based on 23 months of ethnographic fieldworks in 2002–3 and 2008–11. I argue that new forms of economic, cultural and social capital available to young women and men work together to create differences in terms of class within multi-generational households in such a way that some younger women may gain a stronger position in their marital home than women had before. While others have studied changes in women’s position as a result of their education—a new and valued form of cultural capital—this article sees women’s position also in connection with their husbands’ status and larger socio-economic changes. These remote communities are today woven into national and global job and commodity markets. While married women remain subsistence farmers in their husbands’ village, men often migrate, in search of waged work. Men who succeed professionally can marry more attractive wives, and a girl’s education contributes highly to her attractiveness. Such women obtain authority not only based on their education, but also on their connection to respected husbands, as the couple may realise new capital possibilities unavailable to other household members.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, 2016. no Special Issue, 54-62 p.
Keyword [en]
India, economic change, gender, household, education, class
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:norden:org:diva-4921OAI: oai:DiVA.org:norden-4921DiVA: diva2:1120058
Available from: 2017-07-05 Created: 2017-07-05 Last updated: 2017-07-05

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Asia in Focus: A Nordic journal on Asia by early career researchers
Social Sciences

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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