SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 9.1 Abraham, J. (2017). Setting sail for Lakshadweep: Leela Dube and the study of matrilineal kinship. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 24(3), 438–454. DOI: 10.1177/0971521517716813
Abstract: In this article, I engage with Prof. Leela Dube’s fascinating work on matriliny in Lakshadweep which addressed critical questions in anthropology/sociology and feminist studies. Her discussion about the disjuncture between codified Islamic law and practice in relation to marriage and property devolution, her elaboration on the way law was manipulated strategically, and the image of flexibility in kinship practices are all important for a contemporary understanding of matriliny and kinship in general. Similarly, her discussion of what matriliny meant for women and more broadly the intersections of gender and kinship remain important concerns in the study of kinship. Furthermore, I point to the shifts in her work as she engaged with feminist politics and scholarship.

Learning Objective: LO 9-3. Summarize the key differences between patrilineal kinship and matrilineal kinship.

Journal Article 9.2 Sedziafa, A. P., Tenkorang, E. Y., & Owusu, A. Y. (2018). Kinship and intimate partner violence against married women in Ghana: A qualitative exploration. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(14), 2197–2224. DOI: 10.1177/0886260515624213
Abstract: In African societies, kinship ties determine how women are socialized, their access to power and wealth, as well as custody of children, often considered important factors in married women’s experience of intimate partner violence (IPV). Yet studies that examine how kinship norms influence IPV are scant. Using in-depth interviews collected from women identifying with both matrilineal and patrilineal descent systems, we explored differences in Ghanaian women’s experiences of IPV in both kin groups. Results show that while IPV occurs across matrilineal and patrilineal societies, all women in patrilineal societies narrated continuous pattern of emotional, physical, and sexual assault, and their retaliation to any type of violence almost always culminated in more experience of violent attacks and abandonment. In matrilineal societies, however, more than half of the women recounted frequent experiences of emotional violence, and physical violence occurred as isolated events resulting from common couple disagreements. Sexual violence against matrilineal women occurred as consented but unwanted sexual acts, but patrilineal women narrated experiencing violent and physical attack with aggressive unconsented sexual intercourse. Contextualizing these findings within existing literature on IPV against women suggests that policies aimed at addressing widespread IPV in Ghanaian communities should appreciate the dynamics of kinship norms.

Learning Objective: LO 9-4. Assess the relative position of men and women in matrilineal and patrilineal kinship societies.