Gender in Indian Ethnography
Authors:Lina Fruzzeti & Sirpa Tenhunen
About the Book
Examining the notions and meanings of gender, power and agency, this book bridges theoretical discussion with empirical studies on agency and power. The rich variety of recent empirical studies on subversive activities have been inadequately theorized and conceptualized. The contributors ask: Does agency empower women? Do cultural, gender-based alternatives, openly or secretly, assist women in search of the freedom to voice themselves? At what costs are women prepared to extend their newly acquired agency? Critically examining the relationship between agency and symbolic structures, the book presents the growing reality confronting Indian women. The theoretical perspective underlying the choice of focus for the volume combines or centres on the connections and the relationships of action and structure, women’s lives and the cultural domain. The ethnographic studies depicted present the readers with the growing reality confronting women. What avenue of resistance is available when they challenge the code of conduct expected from them? What are the alternatives to ingrained patriarchal structures? Is women’s search for different sources of empowerment a form of resistance?
Anyone who wants to get a sense of the approach and flavour of contemporary ‘feminist’ ethnographic writing would find this a useful book. Its style is relatively jargon-free and accessible…The book contains much interesting ethnography and looks at topics not often dealt with by ethnographers in India.—Mary Searle Chatterjee, Economic and Political Weekly7
About the Author
Lina Fruzzeti is professor, Department of Anthropology, Brown University.
Sirpa Tenhunen is research fellow, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki.