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Intimate extractions: demand dowry and neo liberal development in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Gardner, Katy (2024) Intimate extractions: demand dowry and neo liberal development in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Development and Change, 55 (1). 76 - 96. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12813


Based on qualitative research on marital problems in Dhaka, this article uses the term ‘intimate extractions’ as a lens to explain the relationship between escalating levels of demand dowry and neoliberal development in Bangladesh. Evidence from across Bangladesh shows that demands for cash made by husbands, accompanied by threats of violence or divorce, are on the rise. Building on gendered theories of contemporary capitalist development and feminist analysis of microcredit, the article argues that demand dowry should be understood within the current context of rapid economic development in Bangladesh. High levels of precarity, lack of state welfare and the need for cash for businesses, labour migration, education and healthcare mean that people from all social classes are in perpetual need of money. Marriage problems and the practice of demand dowry present opportunities for husbands to extract money from wives and their families. Embedded in the intimate relationship of marriage, demand dowry can therefore be understood as a ‘conversion’, a process in which intimate relationships are converted into projects of capital accumulation, thus becoming an ‘intimate extraction’.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2023 12:06
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 17:09

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