Contents of Volume 6


Annu Jalais, Braving Crocodiles with Kali: Being a Prawn Seed Collector and a Modern Woman in the 21st Century Sunderbans

Globalisation has undoubtedly shaped popular conceptions of gender and society in innumerable ways. This article studies one such instance - the plight of tiger-prawn collectors in Sundarbans. The discovery of tiger- prawns - the 'living dollars of Sundarbans' - has certainly transformed the lives of women in the region beyond imagination. These women however have had to face strenuous attacks from many spheres. Based on her anthropological fieldwork, the author portrays the struggle of women in the area against patriarchy, traditional modes of exploitation and even urban notions of femininity. Braving crocodiles and even changing their religious allegiances, these women have, carved out a sphere of self-respect for themselves.

Laura R. Ford, Max Weber on Property: An Effort in Interpretative Understanding

In this article, Laura Ford explores Max Weber' writings on the subject of property. Weber, in his first dissertation, articulated legally and historically, the conception of property as a phenomenon that was dependent on organised social relationships and somewhat closed to outside participation. Later, he formulated this conception sociologically and systematically connected it to additional concepts. Ford engages with Weber' work in three broad phases (the legal phase of his first dissertation, the economic-historical phase and finally the sociological phase) in order to examine if any sociological issues emerge from the same.

Sidharth Chauhan, Representations of the Indian Emergency in Popular Fiction

In the domain of legal education, there is a compelling case for using popular novels as supplements to the perceptive 'dry' contents of standardized textbooks and legal materials. Their utility lies in their potential for meaningfully engaging the attention of students and to effectively highlight the wider social context behind notable legal developments. While the interface between literature and the law seems to have found a stable place in the curriculum of many law schools in Western countries, such pedagogic innovations have not become part of the mainstream curriculum in legal education in India. Even though elective courses dealing with 'Law and Literature' have been offered at some of the autonomous law universities established in recent years there is clearly a good case for introducing regular courses devoted to this approach as well as the use of fictional works as supplemental texts for the study of several substantive areas. The scheme of this paper is to examine the possible use of three fictional works - namely Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie, 1981), The Great Indian Novel (Shashi Tharoor, 1989) and A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry, 1995) as representative samples of such a methodology. Such efforts are likely to encounter a fair amount of resistance by those who would argue that such fictional works have no place in legal education and that the same should be confined to the study of statutes, judicial precedents and commentaries. The nascent move towards recognizing 'Law and Literature' as an autonomous discipline in India will perhaps gain more acceptance if a start is made with novels that engage with India's socio-political existence rather than those of Western nations.

Sarayu Pani, Aging, Gender, Poverty: The Case of a Slum in Bangalore

This paper attempts to analyse the relationship between aging and gender relations in a slum in Koramangala, in Bangalore, which is deeply influenced by poverty, the phenomenon of globalization and the changed social relations that accompany these factors. The paper makes the argument that while aging is influenced by gender, usually negatively, certain other factors like health and modified social relations bring other influences to the experience of aging. Hence, while patriarchal structures in the slum remain oppressive, the role a particular woman may play in this structure can change with age, owing to factors such as poverty and her role in the family.