Here, Our Culture Is Hard : Stories of Domestic Violence from a Mayan Community in Belize

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Marriage among the Maya of Central America is a model of complementarity between a man and a woman. This union demands mutual respect and mutual service. Yet some husbands beat their wives. In this pioneering book, Laura McClusky examines the lives of several Mopan Maya women in Belize. Using engaging ethnographic narratives and a highly accessible analysis of the lives that have unfolded before her, McClusky explores Mayan women's strategies for enduring, escaping, and avoiding abuse. Factors such as gender, age inequalities, marriage patterns, family structure, educational opportunities, and economic development all play a role in either preventing or contributing to domestic violence in the village. McClusky argues that using narrative ethnography, instead of cold statistics or dehumanized theoretical models, helps to keep the focus on people, rehumanizing our understanding of violence. This highly accessible book brings to the social sciences new ways of thinking about, representing, and studying abuse, marriage, death, gender roles, and violence.