Title

Dowry Death and the Caste System in India

Presenter Information

Sonya Rombough

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 301

Start Date

21-5-2015

End Date

21-5-2015

Keywords

Dowry Death, Caste System, India

Abstract

Social and religious cultural norms and practices have a heavy impact on the experience of people existing within their boundaries. In a culture that still widely practices arranged marriages and dowries, despite them being outlawed over fifty years ago, the effects of these cultures may have a stronger impact on the experiences of victims of domestic abuse. In India, domestic abuse and violence against women has taken a turn toward the extreme in the form of dowry death, which is defined as the murder of a bride within her first seven years of marriage, usually as the end result of unmet demands for monetary or material gains. This paper offers an in-depth analysis of the direct relationship between the caste system and the proliferation of dowry death in India. Some studies have gone so far as to indicate that one’s place within the caste system effects the ease of access to justice resources such as police and courts. This paper also seeks to draw connections between such studies and the overarching social norms that allow such imbalances to continue.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Anne Cubilié

Department/Program

Individual Studies

Additional Mentoring Department

Douglas Honors College

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Dowry Death and the Caste System in India

SURC 301

Social and religious cultural norms and practices have a heavy impact on the experience of people existing within their boundaries. In a culture that still widely practices arranged marriages and dowries, despite them being outlawed over fifty years ago, the effects of these cultures may have a stronger impact on the experiences of victims of domestic abuse. In India, domestic abuse and violence against women has taken a turn toward the extreme in the form of dowry death, which is defined as the murder of a bride within her first seven years of marriage, usually as the end result of unmet demands for monetary or material gains. This paper offers an in-depth analysis of the direct relationship between the caste system and the proliferation of dowry death in India. Some studies have gone so far as to indicate that one’s place within the caste system effects the ease of access to justice resources such as police and courts. This paper also seeks to draw connections between such studies and the overarching social norms that allow such imbalances to continue.