The inequalities that structure relationships in Delhi’s urban slums have left the health of women living there chronically vulnerable. Yet for women living in slums, there is no other option than to depend on someone. Based on fourteen months of intensive fieldwork with ten families in a Delhi slum, No One Will Let Her Live argues that women rely on moral strategies to confront the poverty and unstable relationships that threaten their well-being. Claire Snell-Rood breaks new ground by delineating the complex ways in which women set boundaries, maintain their independence, and develop a nuanced sense of selfhood that draws on endurance, asceticism, mobility, and citizenship.
List of Illustrations
Note on Translation and Transliteration
Introduction: Well-Being and the Self
1. “You Should Live for Others”: Tensely Sustaining Families and Selves
2. Let the Dirtiness Go: Managing Relations with Neighbors to Protect the Self
3. “Getting Ahead” as Moral Citizenship in the Face of Demolition
4. To Know the Field: Shaping the Slum Environment and Cultivating the Self
Claire Snell-Rood is an assistant professor in behavioral science at the University of Kentucky.
"Very interesting and thoughtful . . . informative."—Jack David Eller Anthropology Review Journal
"This masterful ethnography illustrates what anthropologists can accomplish when they put moral experience at the center. Public health and religious studies readers will both benefit from Claire Snell-Rood's attention to what's at stake for urban women."—Don Seeman, Department of Religion, Emory University
"A close and compelling investigation of how women living under conditions of poverty sustain everyday life. Acutely attuned to the injustices women suffer, never drowning the voices of the women with whom she worked, Claire Snell-Rood shows the care and abandonment that arise within the ordinary. Her work greatly enriches the fields of anthropology and gender studies."—Veena Das, Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University