Gender, Justice, and the Problem of Culture (Paperback)

From Customary Law to Human Rights in Tanzania

By Dorothy L. Hodgson

Indiana University Press, 9780253025357, 204pp.

Publication Date: March 27, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (3/27/2017)

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Description

When, where, why, and by whom is law used to force desired social change in the name of justice? Why has culture come to be seen as inherently oppressive to women? In this finely crafted book, Dorothy L. Hodgson examines the history of legal ideas and institutions in Tanzania - from customary law to human rights - as specific forms of justice that often reflect elite ideas about gender, culture, and social change. Drawing on evidence from Maasai communities, she explores how the legacies of colonial law-making continue to influence contemporary efforts to create laws, codify marriage, criminalize FGM, and contest land grabs by state officials. Despite the easy dismissal by elites of the priorities and perspectives of grassroots women, she shows how Maasai women have always had powerful ways to confront and challenge injustice, express their priorities, and reveal the limits of rights-based legal ideals.



About the Author

Dorothy L. Hodgson is Professor of anthropology and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Graduate School--New Brunswick) at Rutgers University and past President of the African Studies Association.As a historical anthropologist, she has worked in Tanzania, East Africa, for almost thirty years on such topics as gender, ethnicity, cultural politics, colonialism, nationalism, modernity, the missionary encounter, transnational organizing, and the indigenous rights movement. Her work has been supported by awards from the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center, National Endowment for the Humanities, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, American Council for Learned Societies, National Science Foundation, American Philosophical Society, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Social Science Research Council, and Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences.