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"Perpetual Mourning" examines the relationship between the ideals and the realities of widowhood in rural India. The author shows how ideological construction of widowhood - the ascetic, child, and sati - are embedded in the orthodox Hindu traditions and texts and manifested in customary practices. Based on empirical data, this book provides a view of the day-to-day realities of widows in rural India. This book is intended for students and specialists in gender studies, sociology, development policy, planning, and law, as well as general readers curious about Indian womanhood and widowhood.
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Martha Alter Chen is at Harvard University.
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