Belonging to Others
Cultural Construction of Womanhood
Among Muslims in a Village in Bangladesh

By Jitka Kotalova
Oct. 1993
Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN: 91-554-3105-4
252 p.
$60.00 Paper Original

This study is about womanhood. It addresses the discourse within anthropology of experience and anthropology of gender. A Bangladeshi Muslim community provides its ethnographic focus. Bangladesh society is structured through two distinct yet mutually dependent systems. One is based on lineal succession and age seniority of men, the other on exchange of women in marriage. Muslims in Bangladesh assume that a woman is detachable in two senses: from her birthgroup, and from one husband to another. Marriage thus means spatial and social continuity for a man, but transformation for a woman. Because a woman is rendered transformable, she is considered to be in need of protection and control. In Bangladesh, this entails institutionalized restraint on her spatial mobility and social visibility.

Series: Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology

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