Family law, marital disputing and domestic violence in post-colonial Senegal, West Africa
AuthorLondon, Scott Barry, 1962-
AdvisorPhilips, Susan U.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation examines disputing and dispute resolution primarily among married couples in the small city of Saint-Louis, in the northwest comer of Senegal, West Africa. The goal of this project is two-fold: first, to locate "couples disputing" in the context of the culture and systems of power in urban Senegal; second, to analyze how this context is reproduced and contested through disputing and participation in legal (state) and informal (non-state) dispute resolution processes. At another level, this project focuses on determining how and to what degree the law enables and empowers women to resist domestic violence, and, alternatively, allows it to persist. The place of domestic violence is examined through the lens of local culture and ideology, as well as legal and conflict-oriented behavior. Central to this project is the observation of a dynamic interaction between the daily lived reality of couples and intermediate and higher-level institutional frameworks. In other words, love, cooperation, arguing, disdain, beating, rape, separation, divorce, and reconciliation occur inseparably from the authority structures of family and community, selective coercion and empowerment by state and civil bodies, and the distant impositions of international entities. An ethnographic portrait of marital disputing and domestic violence is created using court observations and recorded speech, structured and unstructured interviews, documentary research on court records, and extended participant observation in the community.
Degree ProgramGraduate College