Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Jason Fuller

Second Advisor

Alicia Suarez

Third Advisor

Ophelia Goma


It will be argued that while modernization in India has allowed for small improvements to women's autonomy, in rural India today the little autonomy women do have is constricted through traditional norms and expectations related to the fundamental notion of love, rural economic constraints, and contemporary dowry culture. This thesis works to understand how women’s autonomy may be restricted through the fundamental notion of love, which emphasizes group cohesion over individualism, the lack of structural economic resources in rural areas, and high financial expectations in relation to dowry culture. This research will conclude by arguing that the future of women’s autonomy in India rests on the ability for women to escape acts of violence and become financially independent.


Honor Scholar thesis