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Planning Families in Nepal

Global and Local Projects of Reproduction

Jan Brunson (author)

ISBN: 9780813578620

Publication Date: Jan 2016

Format: Hardback

Also available as: Paperback  

Based on almost a decade of research in the Kathmandu Valley, Planning Families in Nepal offers a compelling account of Hindu Nepali women as they face conflicting global and local ideals regarding family planning. Jan Brunson examines how two generations of Hindu Nepali women negotiate the global message of a two-child family and a more local need to produce a son.
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Based on almost a decade of research in the Kathmandu Valley, Planning Families in Nepal offers a compelling account of Hindu Nepali women as they face conflicting global and local ideals regarding family planning.

Promoting a two-child norm, global family planning programs have disseminated the slogan, "A small family is a happy family," throughout the global South. Jan Brunson examines how two generations of Hindu Nepali women negotiate this global message of a two-child family and a more local need to produce a son. Brunson explains that while women did not prefer sons to daughters, they recognized that in the dominant patrilocal family system, their daughters would eventually marry and be lost to other households. As a result, despite recent increases in educational and career opportunities for daughters, mothers still hoped for a son who would bring a daughter-in-law into the family and care for his aging parents. Mothers worried about whether their modern, rebellious sons would fulfill their filial duties, but ultimately those sons demonstrated an enduring commitment to living with their aging parents. In the context of rapid social change related to national politics as well as globalization - a constant influx of new music, clothes, gadgets, and even governments - the sons viewed the multigenerational family as a refuge.

Throughout Planning Families in Nepal, Brunson raises important questions about the notion of "planning" when applied to family formation, arguing that reproduction is better understood as a set of local and global ideals that involve actors with desires and actions with constraints, wrought with delays, stalling, and improvisation.
Illustrations 11 figures, 1 table
Pages 176
Dimensions 229 x 152
Date Published 29 Jan 2016
Publisher Rutgers University Press
Subject/s Social theory   Gender studies: women   Social services & welfare, criminology   Social & cultural anthropology   Public health & preventive medicine   Sociology: family & relationships  
Jan Brunson is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, in Honolulu, USA.

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