This is a comparison between the traditional customary legal system and the colonial common law of courts and magistrates in Botswana. It sets out to show how the structure of both legal institutions is based on power and gender relations which heavily favour males. Griffiths' analysis is based on careful observation of how people actually experience the law as well as the more standard tools of statutes and cases familiar to Western legal scholars. She explains how women's access to law is determined by social relations over which they have little control. In this powerful feminist critique of law and anthropology, Griffiths shows how law and custom are inseparable for Kwena women. Both colonial common law and customary law pose comparable and constant challenges to Kwena women's attempts to improve their positions in society.
List of Illustrations Preface 1: Academic Narratives: Models and Methods in the Search for Meanings 2: The Gendered Dynamics of Households: Managing Resources, Procreation, and Marriage 3: Diverging Families: Social Stratification, Procreation, and Marriage 4: Pregnancy and Marriage: The World of Negotiation and Dispute 5: The Gendered World of Marriage: Claims of Desertion and Neglect 6: Untying the Knot: Public Dissolution and Division of Property 7: Final Partings: Institutional Encounters and the Shifting Boundaries of Law 8: Reconfiguring Law: A Differentiating Perspective App. A: Procreative Relationships and Marriage in Three Families App. B: Text for Teko Mere's Hearing App. C: Text for Nyana Segethsho's Hearing App. D: Text for the Kgosidintsis' Hearing App. E: Text for the Makokas' Hearing App. F: Text for Mmathari's and Tshotego's Hearing Notes References Index