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This book develops a legal history of colonial women as a methodological approach to studying the women of Paraíba, a captaincy on the northeast coast of Brazil, from the end of the Dutch occupation (1661) to Brazilian independence in 1822. It uses the concept of multiple normativities to analyse dozens of daily life cases from Portuguese and Brazilian archives. To study women’s everyday normative contexts in a colonial space, the author analyses traditional Ius Commune and Portuguese legal sources from different jurisdictions, but also legal doctrines, medical treatises, moralist works and literature to enrich interpretations in women’s history, gender studies, feminist legal theory and legal history. Furthermore, she examines the impact of these normative traditions in the colonial Captaincy of Paraíba and focuses on normativities of a more pragmatic character, analysing archival documents portraying women’s daily life situations relating to both secular and religious jurisdictions. The analysis demonstrates that the law from the metropole neither offered pre-established solutions for women’s daily lives, nor was it applied unchanged in the colony. On the ground, law was dynamic, and the interplay of multiple normativities provided different possibilities that depended on the intersection of women’s condition and status, religion and sexual options, proving that sex and gender categories are not immutable, but, on the contrary, flexible according to the practices of law in colonial Paraíba.

Table of Contents

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  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Índice
  2. pp. v-viii
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  1. Agradecimentos
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Introdução: Uma História do Direito das Mulheres Coloniais
  2. pp. 1-40
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  1. Capítulo 1: Um Portugal transplantado? Normatividades imperiais na capitania da Paraíba
  2. pp. 41-92
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  1. Capítulo 2: A vida das mulheres casadas na capitania da Paraíba: vozes femininas e normatividades no Império português
  2. pp. 93-192
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  1. Capítulo 3: Promessas frustradas
  2. pp. 193-210
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  1. Capítulo 4: As experiências da maternidade
  2. pp. 211-230
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  1. Capítulo 5: As possibilidades de uma vida fora do casamento tridentino
  2. pp. 231-274
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  1. Capítulo 6: Os espaços de segregação da vida pública
  2. pp. 275-294
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  1. Capítulo 7: Desfazendo um vínculo eterno?
  2. pp. 295-304
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  1. Capítulo 8: Adquirindo e possuindo: donas de terras e herdeiras
  2. pp. 305-320
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  1. Capítulo 9: Religião e cotidiano: as mulheres e a prática do judaísmo na Paraíba
  2. pp. 321-336
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  1. Conclusões
  2. pp. 337-350
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  1. Fontes e bibliografia
  2. pp. 351-376
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  1. About the Author
  2. pp. 375-376
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  1. Backmatter
  2. pp. 377-381
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  1. Backcover
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