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Vol 23 No 1 Jan/Feb 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of The Law of Privilege

The Law of Privilege

Edited by: Bankim Thanki
Price: £195.00

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Pronouncing and Persevering

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Susan F. HirschAssociate Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies, Wesleyan University, USA

ISBN13: 9780226344645
ISBN: 0226344649
Published: May 1999
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Format: Paperback
Price: £25.50

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The title of this study reflects the image of gender relations most commonly associated with Islamic law - this being a study of disputes involving Swahili Muslims in coastal Kenya. Men need only ""pronounce"" divorce to resolve marital conflicts, while embattled wives must persevere by enduring marital hardships.;Susan Hirsch's observations of Islamic courts uncover how Muslim women actively use legal processes to transform their domestic lives, achieving victories on some fronts, but reinforcing their image as subordinate to men through the speech they produce in court.;The focus of this text is the language used in disputes, particularly how men and women narrate their claims, and how their speech shapes and is shaped by gender hierarchy in postcolonial Swahili society. Based on field research and court testimony, Hirsch's book opposes the conventional view that women are powerless under Islamic law.

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