Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

In the Shadow of Marriage: Single Women and the Legal Construction of the Family and the State

Ariela R. Dubler
The Yale Law Journal
Vol. 112, No. 7 (May, 2003), pp. 1641-1715
DOI: 10.2307/3657498
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3657498
Page Count: 75
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
In the Shadow of Marriage: Single Women and the Legal Construction of the Family and the State
Preview not available

Abstract

This Article argues that the law has constructed marriage as an institution capable of regulating the rights and responsibilities of even unmarried women. In various ways, the law has constructed the rights of certain groups of unmarried women "in the shadow of marriage'': That is, the law-its imagination bounded by the dominant, normative paradigm of private, heterosexual relations-has defined an unmarried woman's legal status by virtue of her contiguous relationship (real or imagined) to marriage. By analyzing the shifting legal construction of widows' rights-particularly, the move away from widows' common-law dower rights-this Article explores the powers and limitations of marriage's shadow. It argues that even as lawmakers have sought to extend marriage's reach to women living outside marriage, they have simultaneously looked to the space outside of marriage's borders in order to define the meaning of marriage proper. A revised history of dower reveals the dynamic relationship between marriage's center and its shadow as the contested sociolegal terrain in which politicians and feminist advocates have-historically and today-debated the meaning of sex equality, as well as the proper relationship among women, the family, and the state.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1641
    1641
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1642
    1642
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1643
    1643
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1644
    1644
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1645
    1645
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1646
    1646
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1647
    1647
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1648
    1648
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1649
    1649
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1650
    1650
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1651
    1651
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1652
    1652
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1653
    1653
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1654
    1654
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1655
    1655
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1656
    1656
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1657
    1657
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1658
    1658
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1659
    1659
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1660
    1660
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1661
    1661
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1662
    1662
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1663
    1663
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1664
    1664
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1665
    1665
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1666
    1666
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1667
    1667
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1668
    1668
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1669
    1669
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1670
    1670
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1671
    1671
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1672
    1672
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1673
    1673
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1674
    1674
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1675
    1675
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1676
    1676
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1677
    1677
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1678
    1678
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1679
    1679
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1680
    1680
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1681
    1681
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1682
    1682
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1683
    1683
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1684
    1684
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1685
    1685
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1686
    1686
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1687
    1687
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1688
    1688
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1689
    1689
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1690
    1690
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1691
    1691
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1692
    1692
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1693
    1693
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1694
    1694
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1695
    1695
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1696
    1696
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1697
    1697
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1698
    1698
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1699
    1699
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1700
    1700
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1701
    1701
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1702
    1702
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1703
    1703
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1704
    1704
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1705
    1705
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1706
    1706
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1707
    1707
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1708
    1708
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1709
    1709
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1710
    1710
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1711
    1711
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1712
    1712
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1713
    1713
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1714
    1714
  • Thumbnail: Page 
1715
    1715