This book makes use of interesting case studies and photographs to describe everyday life in a squatter settlement in Delhi. The book helps to understand the marital experiences of these people most of whom belong to the Scheduled Caste and live in one identified geographical space. The author describes the shifts within their marriages, remarriages and other kinds of unions and their striking diversities, which have been described with care. Shalini Grover also examines the close ties of married women with their mothers and natal families. An important contribution of the book lies in the unfolding of the role of women-led informal courts, Mahila Panchayats and their influence in conflict resolution. This takes place in a distinctly different mode of community-based arbitration against the backdrop of mainstream legal structures and male-dominated caste associations. The book will be of interest to students of sociology and social anthropology, gender studies, development studies, law and psychology. Activists and family counsellors will also find the book useful.
Foreword by Professor Patricia Uberoi
1. Mapping the Debate on Marriage 2. Revisiting Arranged Marriages: Marital Roles, Conflict and Kinship Support 3. Courtships and Love Marriages 4. Secondary Unions and Other Conjugal Arrangements 5. Informal Dispute Settlement: The Mahila Panchayats 6. Towards the Democratization of Marriage and Relationships: Conclusion