ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Between Daughter Deficit and Development Deficit

Situation of Unmarried Men in a South Indian Community

Drawing on research in Namakkal District in Tamil Nadu on the Kongu Vellala Gounder community, which has a history of daughter elimination, it can be seen that the effects of daughter deficit unfold, not in isolation, but amid changing economic processes, development gains made by women, and shortcomings among men in marriage. These are evident in women's bargaining position in negotiating marriage. Whether daughter deficit increases violence against women or enhances their value depends on its interaction with development processes, gender inequality, and successful challenges to traditional gender norms.

Thanks to HEALDS and its staff for support during fi eld research. Thanks to Vijay Baskar, Arjun Bedi, Daniele Belanger, Roy Huijsmans, Vidya Kumar, Harro Maas, Juhi Tyagi, Ben White, Dubravka Zarkov, and an anonymous referee for useful comments on an earlier draft. Thanks are also due to participants at seminars and conferences in the Netherlands, India and the United States. Research for this paper was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. A visiting fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study facilitated writing.

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