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Week Three Reading Notes - Tucker and Moors.docx

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Tucker • Different economic/political circumstances give rise to different social and marriage practices • The various aspects of marriage lie at the heart of power relations within family as well as relations between the family and wider society • Differences in marriage practice reflect much broader divergences in the economic, political, and social role of the family, and which carry different implications for the position/power of women • The significance of the mahr, as far as a woman’s power within the family was concerned, lay in the amount of mahr as well as in the extent to which the bride, not her family or her husband, could use the money as she liked. • The amount and form of the mahr could also symbolize and actualize political and economic ties between the families of the bride and the groom • The 19 century mahr no longer included goods, and the increase in the cash segments of the mahr was certainly not sufficient to cover this loss – the bride and her family, at least in upper-class circles, bore a new burden. Much of the mahr can be exhausted immediately by purchases of clothes, linens, and kitchen equipment (private property of the new bride), leaving the bride with little capital of her own (only for upper class, lower and mid class always paid cash) • The familial desire to control marriage arrangements – “wali”, father or marriage guardian • Marriages could also be arranged whenever it most suited the political, material or social needs of the family • The mahrs assigned to minors were among the highest given within each social group • Intermarrying in classes (i.e. ulama merchant family who creates a stable middle class rather incestuous character) • Cousin marriages in upper classes for economic and political reasons • Frequency of second (or third, etc.) marriages for women – more frequent in lower class • An experienced bride lost little of her value • The second or third marriages have no discernible stigma attached, they also might hold some real advantages - older more experienced, influence choice of marriage partner, assert herself in marriage; property from first marriage, discretion in spending second mahr • Mahr for upper level as status, comes with gifts of necessities; lower class – a chance to gain some capital, buy necessities Moors: Introduction - Researchers have discussed dower primarily as a mechanism for intergenerational transmission of property – social stratification - Overlooks historical, social and locational specificities - Social practice may diverge from the legal doctrine - *The terms “ongoing subordination” and “increased freedom” do not do justice to the complexities of the processes of change that have taken place and ignore the changing meanings of the brides share - Shari’a records, marriage contracts, divorce registrations, court cases’ fieldwork and discussions with Palestinian women in the city of Nablus - The Legal Context o Jordan law of
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