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Gender, Caste and Labour-Ideological and Material Structure of Widowhood

This paper examines widowhood within the larger structure of relations, material and ideological. Distinctive cultural codes form the basis for caste hierarchy and control of female sexuality with permanent enforced widowhood at the apex is the index of high rank. Conversely, widow re-marriage is not only an ideological rationale for low caste rank but provides a demographic basis for production relations. A single caste framework functioning both at the level of ideology and material arrangements requires distinctive patriarchal arrangements and cultural codes among the hierarchy of castes to reproduce the structure of production.

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