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Nation and FamilyPersonal Law, Cultural Pluralism, and Gendered Citizenship in India$
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Narendra Subramanian

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804788786

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804788786.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 11 August 2020

Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Personal Law

Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Personal Law

(p.266) Chapter 6 Nationalism, Multiculturalism, and Personal Law
Nation and Family

Narendra Subramanian

Stanford University Press

This chapter recapitulates the different ways states in developing societies responded to preexisting forms of patriarchal authority and strong cultural traditions as they augmented their capacity, recognized difference, and regulated family life. By comparing Turkey, Tunisia, Indonesia, India, Egypt, and Lebanon, it shows that two factors influenced one another and shaped family law: regimes’ aims to change state-society relations, and salient discourses about the nation, its cultural groups, and traditions. These comparisons indicate that there is considerable scope in most developing societies for family law reforms based in cultural traditions that advance women's rights and individual liberties, and for forms of secularism that accommodate public religion significantly. Certain reform proposals are currently feasible in India (for example, no-fault divorce and shares in matrimonial property), but others are possible only if predominant visions of nation and community change (such as dissolution of Hindu joint property or Christian adoption rights).

Keywords:   nationalism, cultural traditions, family law, state centralization, patriarchal authority and family regulation, colonial rule and cultural nationalism, projects to change state-society relations, regime coalitions and personal law, secularism, Indian agenda for personal law reform

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