Women, Education, and Family Structure in India

Overview

Five decades of independence have produced dramatic increases in women’s educational achievements in India; but education for girls beyond a certain level is still perceived as socially risky. Based on ethnographic data and historical documents, this book explores the origins of that paradox. Contributors probe the complex relationships between traditional Indian social institutions—the joint family, arranged marriage, dowry, and purdah, or sexual segregation—and girls’ schooling. They find that a patrifocal ...

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Overview

Five decades of independence have produced dramatic increases in women’s educational achievements in India; but education for girls beyond a certain level is still perceived as socially risky. Based on ethnographic data and historical documents, this book explores the origins of that paradox. Contributors probe the complex relationships between traditional Indian social institutions—the joint family, arranged marriage, dowry, and purdah, or sexual segregation—and girls’ schooling. They find that a patrifocal family structure and ideology are often at the root of different family approaches to educating sons and daughters, and that concern for “marriageability” still plays a central role in women’s educational choices and outcomes.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813385112
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 1/10/1994
  • Pages: 246
  • Lexile: 1620L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1 Introduction and Theoretical Overview 1
2 Social change or Social Reform: Women, Education, and Family in Pre-Independence India 37
3 Woman's Nature and Access to Education in Bengal 59
4 Arranging Marriages: How Fathers' Concerns Limit Women's Educational Achievements 83
5 Family Structure and Indian Women's Participation in Science and Engineering 103
6 Schooling for What? The Cultural and Social Context of Women's Education in a South Indian Muslim Family 135
7 Women, Marriage, and Educational Change in Bhubaneswar, India: A Twenty-five Year Perspective 165
8 Asset and Liability: The Role of Female Education in Changing Marriage Patterns Among Havik Brahmins 187
9 College Women's Aspirations: A Challenge to the Patrifocal Family System? 213
About the Book 235
About the Editors and Contributors 237
Index 239
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