£70.00 | $125.95
22 September 2011
216mm x 138mm
Gender and Sexuality
Africa, Anthropology, Asia, Cultural Studies, Development, Geography, Human Rights, Minorities and Indigenous Peoples, Gender and Sexuality
Women, Violence and Tradition
Taking FGM and other practices to a secular state
Edited by Tamsin Bradley
Is the practice of FGM on the rise in the UK and US? Why? What happens to religious and cultural traditions when they are taken from their context into a new, often secular, state? Women, Violence and Tradition is a fascinating look into the life histories of women from ethnic minority communities in the West, focusing specifically on their experiences of under-researched cultural practices. The book gives close insight into how ethnic minority women today navigate between their religious and cultural traditions and the secular state in which they live. The volume illuminates areas of tension and difficulty when some women actively try to reform aspects of their tradition whilst remaining furiously loyal to their cultural identity. Other examples highlight how young women are choosing to endorse traditional practices, seeing this as an important way of demonstrating the legitimacy of their religion and culture in the face of increasing hostility. This brave and original book tackles the sensitive and controversial issue of female genital mutilation, as well as surveying changing attitudes and practices around marriage and divorce. Using a cross-cultural perspective the book draws on the views of activists and community organisations who work with women to confront injustice.
'Women, Violence and Tradition takes a unique approach to generating its content. It has involved women who are students and/or activists in collecting and writing up the stories of BME women who have been affected by the cultural traditions and practices that are the focus of the book - from FGM to dowry within Hindu communities. Many of the contributors to this volume also have first-hand experience of the traditions and practices that they are writing about and this lends a sense of authority and insight to their writing that is often absent in purely academic studies. The volume aims to highlight how women uphold, challenge and defend aspects of these traditions and practices, which often result in violence, in the context of the 'secular' British state. It draws our attention the ways in which they are often underpinned by particular understandings of religion and culture that can make it difficult to challenge and negotiate them. The chapters are engaging and personal, and result in a volume that will appeal to the general public as well as an academic audience.' - Dr Emma Tomalin, University of Leeds
'A ground-breaking collection that at its heart deals with issues of social justice, equity and rights. Readers are given a unique opportunity to hear the life histories and stories of women as they live their lives across and as part of complex cultural, religious and social communities in Britain. This collection gives voice to women and in doing so transcends the boundaries of 'insiders versus outsiders' and 'religious versus the secular'. Instead we learn that women's lives are complex, negotiated and strategic but also that women do and can 'speak' to challenge gender violence and in doing so challenge oppressive cultural and religious practices and redefine our understandings of identity, belonging and community.' - Dr Samia Bano, University of Reading
'Carefully organised and tightly edited, Women, Violence and Tradition shines a critical light on the narratives of women from diaspora communities in the UK, focusing specifically on their experiences of gendered violence and the challenges encountered by those who seek to foster social change. In the wake of this insightful volume, the reductive, essentialist ways in which violence against women in black and minority ethnic communities has so often been represented in the past will no longer be possible. It is essential reading for researchers, students, policy-makers and practitioners alike.' - Dr Aisha Gill, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Roehampton
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Researching Stories
Chapter Two: Somali Memories of FGM
Chapter Three: Tales of Somali Marriage in the UK
Chapter Four: Domestic violence in Zimbabwe and the UK diaspora
Chapter Five: Narratives of Divorce amongst Bangladeshi Women in England
Chapter Six: Transnational accounts of dowry and caste: Hindu women tell their stories
Chapter Seven: The big taboo: Stories of pre-marital relationships
Chapter Eight: 'I wish I had taken her with me': The lives of black and minority ethnic women facing gender based violence
About the Author:
Tamsin Bradley is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Social Anthropology, Department of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University.
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