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Conjugality, Subjectivity, Desire and Gender-based Violence in Tajikistan


  • Colette Harris


This article, based on ethnographic materials collected in Tajikistan in the late 1990s, melds cross-cultural psychologies, (feminist) ethnography, sexualities and gender studies. It explores Zakari's marriage to his cousin, Sumangul. The cousins' different backgrounds produced distinct forms of (gendered) subjectivity, with Sumangul demonstrating greater intra-psychic autonomy. Their patrilocal marriage was enmeshed in gender-based violence, influenced by drug addiction and problematic intergenerational power relations. The article challenges gender-based violence as solely male on female, and shows the importance of age for gender identities in gerontocratic settings. It suggests a more nuanced approach to gender can improve development research and practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Colette Harris, 2012. "Conjugality, Subjectivity, Desire and Gender-based Violence in Tajikistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(1), pages 55-67, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:48:y:2012:i:1:p:55-67
    DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2011.629647

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Morduch, Jonathan J. & Stern, Hal S., 1997. "Using mixture models to detect sex bias in health outcomes in Bangladesh," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 259-276, March.
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    5. Gong, X. & van Soest, A.H.O. & Zhang, P., 2000. "Sexual Bias and Household Consumption : A Semiparametic Analysis of Engel curves in Rural China," Discussion Paper 2000-45, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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    7. Sonia Bhalotra & Cliff Attfield, 1998. "Intrahousehold resource allocation in rural Pakistan: a semiparametric analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 463-480.
    8. Subramanian, S. & Deaton, A., 1990. "Gender Effects In Indian Consumption Patterns," Papers 147, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    9. John Gibson, 1997. "Testing for boy-girl discrimination with household expenditure data: results for Papua New Guinea," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(10), pages 643-646.
    10. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 2008. "Gender and household education expenditure in Pakistan," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(20), pages 2573-2591.
    11. Kingdon, Geeta Gandhi, 2005. "Where Has All the Bias Gone? Detecting Gender Bias in the Intrahousehold Allocation of Educational Expenditure," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 409-451, January.
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