This comparative study investigates the place of Hindu divorce in the Indian legal system and considers whether it offers a way out of a matrimonial crisis situation for women. Using the narratives of the social actors involved, it poses questions about the relationship between traditional jurisdictions located in rural areas and the larger legal culture of towns and cities in India, and also in the UK and USA. The multidisciplinary approach draws on research from the social sciences, feminist and legal studies and will be of interest to students and scholars of law, anthropology and sociology.
'Livia Holden's study of the realities of divorce among Hindus at all levels of the social hierarchy offers eye-opening perspectives on a long-neglected topic. Illustrated with vivid case studies based on intimate ethnography, this book enhances understandings of gender and kinship in South Asia.' Ann Grodzins Gold, Syracuse University, USA. 'Livia Holden takes us into the heart of the complex array of norms, values and customs that operate within Hindu divorce. We are introduced to women who talk about their experiences as they navigate the uncertain expectations of their sexuality, the demands of their religion, their ambiguous dealings with men, and their contacts with the official legal system. Deploying skills in ethnography, film-making, and legal analysis with grace and understanding Holden creates a world that would normally be impenetrable to the outsider.' John Flood, University of Westminster, UK 'Livia Holden has succeeded in marrying anthropology and legal studies with a rare sensitivity. She brings the anthropology of matrimonial causes under the microscope of legal theory with results that are more sophisticated and more accurate than could be done in either discipline alone.' Richard W. Lariviere, University of Kansas, USA 'Hindu Divorce presents an invaluable and to a certain degree also provocative re-examination of the praxis and legal status of Hindu divorce and remarriage, both in its past and present manifestations... [the] extensive self-reflection incorporated throughout the whole book makes it instructive and interesting reading for every anthropology student and anthropologist. In addition the multidisciplinary approach to the research which draws from feminist and legal studies and social sciences will be of interest to any student or scholar of law, sociology and anthropology.' Antropologi.info 'This book is important in challenging the homogeneous construction of women's issues and solution forwarded by the statutory Indian law...[