programme

Family

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSHS202804

Semester and Year Offered: Semester I, 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Shubhra Nagalia and Rachna Chaudhary

Email of course coordinator: shubhra@aud.ac.in; rachna@aud.ac.in

Pre-requisites: Students should be registered to MA Gender Studies programme

Course Objectives/Description:

This course takes up family as both a site and ideology and traces the philosophical debates in idealist and materialist theorizations of family. The philosophical debates set up the discussion in the following sections of the course in which we explore ways in which Family becomes an object of enquiry in different disciplinary framings. What are the implications, if any, of such disciplinary framings for Gender Studies in which Family is a key site for reinforcing hetronormativity and gender reproduction? How do familial patriarchies get configured in conjunction with market and state patriarchies? The course will look at how feminists have historicized the institution of family which is simultaneously a critical engagement with other disciplines as it is to emphasize multiple patriarchies at work of which family is a crucial part.

The emphasis would be on understanding law as one register of power through which family is constituted both materially and ideologically. Law is that modality of power which enables some of the most enduring confluences of state, family and market regimes. Yet it is also a terrain with which women‟s movement has most intensely engaged with for redressal and justice. An attempt would be made to highlight the „permeability‟ of the family to the power of the state and to comprehend the workings of law as the instrument of that power.

Course Outcomes:

  1. Familiar with the philosophical debates in idealist and materialist theorizations of family.
  2. Learn how Family becomes an object of enquiry in different disciplinary framings.
  3. Analyse Family as a key site for reinforcing hetronormativity and gender reproduction.
  4. Learn about various feminists theorisations of family including historicizing the institution.
  5. Understanding law as one register of power through which family is constituted both materially and ideologically.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Family in Philosophy: This module takes up philosophical debates as part of looking at the ways in which Family becomes an object of enquiry in different disciplinary framings. The module asks what the implications are of theorizing Family in different sdisciplinary settings.
  2. Family as the Object of Inquiry: How does Family become an object of enquiry for different disciplines? Feminists have also theorized Family as a site of reproduction of gender ideologies. The course tracks these journeys.
  3. Historicising Family/ The Family in History: The module looks at how feminists have historicized the institution of family which is simultaneously a critical engagement with other disciplines. Significant events such as the Uniform Civil Code debate, that have led to theorization of Family as an object in history, are taken up.
  4. The Theory and „Workings‟ of Law: The module engages students with understanding law as one register of power through which family is constituted both materially and ideologically. Students are trained to highlight the „permeability‟ of the family to the power of the state and to comprehend the workings of law as the instrument of that power.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Assessment 1: Written with 30% weight
  • Assessment 2: Class Presentation with 30% weight
  • Assessment 3: Written paper of 40% weight

Reading List:

  • Hegel – The Family from Philosophy of Right, retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/pr/prfamily.htm
  • On Hegel, Women and Irony- Seyla Benhabib in Shanley and Pateman, Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory, Penn State University Press, 1990.
  • Engels- Selections from The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/download/pdf/origin_family.pdf, Chapter II- The family
  • Gayle Rubin, The Traffic in Women: Notes on the Political Economy of Sex –In Rayna R. Reiter (ed.), Toward an Anthropology of Women. Monthly Review Press. pp. 157--210 (1975)
  • John Rawls – Selections from A Theory of Justice, Chapter VIII
  • John Rawls: Justice as Fairness – For Whom? – Susan Moller Okin, “Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory” in in Shanley and Pateman, Feminist Interpretations and Political Theory, Penn State University Press, 1990.
  • Pius Malekandathil, Woman, Church and the Syrian Christian Households in Pre-Modern Kerala, Kumkum Roy (ed.), Looking Within Looking Without: Exploring Households in the Subcontinent Through Time, Primus Books, Delhi, 2015, pp 253-276.
  • David Lelyveld, Aligarh‟s First Generation: Muslim Solidarity in British India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2003 – selections- Chapter VI- Brothers of the Akhara
  • Uma Chakravarti, “Exploring a „No-Conflict‟ Zone: Interest, Emotion and the Family in Early India”, in Everyday Lives, Everyday Histories: Beyond the Kings and Brahmanas of „Ancient‟ India, Tulika Books, New Delhi, 2012, pp. 253- 274.
  • Rachel Sturman, Property and Attachments: Defining Autonomy and the Claims of Family in Nineteenth Century Western India, Compartive Studies in Society and History, Vol. 47(3), July 2005, pp. 611-637
  • Collier, Jane and Rosaldo, Michelle Z. 2002. Is there a Family: New Anthropological Views. In Thorne, Barrie and Yalom, Marilyn. 2002. Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Pp. 31-48.
  • Thorne, Barrie. 2002. Feminism and the Family: Two Decades of thought. In Thorne, Barrie and Yalom, Marilyn. 2002. Rethinking the Family: Some Feminist Questions. Boston: Northeastern University Press. Pp. 3-30.
  • Menon, Nivedita. 2012. “Family” in Seeing like a Feminist. New Delhi: Zubaan (Penguin Books). 1-49.
  • Rapp, Rayna, Examining Family History. In Feminist Studies, Vo. 5, No. 1. Pp. 174-181.
  • Kannabiran, Kalpana, 2006. Three-Dimensional Family: Remapping a Multidisciplinary Approach to family studies‟ in Economic and political weekly, vol. 41 No. 42. Pp. 4427-4433.
  • Janet Halley and Kerry Rittich, Critical Directions in Comparative Family Law: Genealogies and Contemporary Studies of Family Law Exceptionalism Critical Directions in Comparative Family Law (Fall 2010), Vol. 58 (4) pp. 753-775.
  • Nivedita Menon, Recovering Subversion: Feminist Politics Beyond the Law, Permanent Black, 2011, pp 1-25.
  • Kumkum Sangari, Politics of Diversity: Religious Communities and Multiple Patriarchies Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 30, No. 52 (Dec. 30, 1995), pp. 3381-3389
  • Kumkum Sangari, Politics of Diversity Religious Communities and Multiple Patriarchies, Economic and Political Weekly December 23, 1995, 3287- 3310.
  • Feminism and Multicultural Dilemmas in India: Revisiting the Shah Bano Case Author(s): Siobhan Mullally Source: Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 24, No. 4 (Winter, 2004), pp. 671-692