Is the practice of FGM on the rise in the UK and US? Why? What happens to religious and cultural traditions when they are taken from their context into a new, often secular, state? Women, Violence and Tradition is a fascinating look into the life histories of women from ethnic minority communities in the West, focusing specifically on their experiences of under-researched cultural practices. The book gives close insight into how ethnic minority women today navigate between their religious and cultural traditions and the secular state in which they live. The volume illuminates areas of tension and difficulty when some women actively try to reform aspects of their tradition whilst remaining furiously loyal to their cultural identity. Other examples highlight how young women are choosing to endorse traditional practices, seeing this as an important way of demonstrating the legitimacy of their religion and culture in the face of increasing hostility. This brave and original book tackles the sensitive and controversial issue of female genital mutilation, as well as surveying changing attitudes and practices around marriage and divorce. Using a cross-cultural perspective the book draws on the views of activists and community organisations who work with women to confront injustice.
Tamsin Bradley is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Social Anthropology, Department of Applied Social Sciences, London Metropolitan University.
Introduction Chapter One: Researching Stories Chapter Two: Somali Memories of FGM Chapter Three: Tales of Somali Marriage in the UK Chapter Four: Domestic violence in Zimbabwe and the UK diaspora Chapter Five: Narratives of Divorce amongst Bangladeshi Women in England Chapter Six: Transnational accounts of dowry and caste: Hindu women tell their stories Chapter Seven: The big taboo: Stories of pre-marital relationships Chapter Eight: 'I wish I had taken her with me': The lives of black and minority ethnic women facing gender based violence Conclusion