Publisher description for Women in Indian society : a reader / edited by Rehana Ghadially.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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Indian society has undergone many rapid changes in the relatively short time that has elapsed since the country gained independence. These changes have created their own pulls and pressures and the one segment of Indian society that has, perhaps, been most affected is women. While the rest of the world is changing, they are nearly always required to conform to age-old and traditional images and stereotypes. This absorbing collection of twenty-one articles, some previously published and others especially commissioned, examines and challenges the various roles ascribed to women in the context of a rapidly changing society. There are two concerns that bind the essays together--first, that the reality of women's subordination can best be understood by traditional and mythical portrayals of women; and, second, that this understanding must be balanced by a sensitivity to the "immediate" context (for example, the present-day violence against a woman's person and personhood). The contributors to this volume belong to a wide variety of backgrounds ranging from activists to academics. Between them, they provide perspectives from the grassroots and also the disciplines of anthropology, psychology and sociology. The book is divided into five sections which cover (a) contextual, analytical and theoretical views of women; (b) empirical research organized around existing stereotypes about men and women; (c) an exploration of common forms of violence against women; (d) the way women are portrayed in diverse media (e.g., films and television); and (e) a description of the growing efforts to sensitize people to the inequalities between the sexes. Providing as it does a coherent analysis and fresh perspective concerning the issues and problems that affect women's lives in India, this book will appeal to all those who wish to know about and understand the position of women in Indian society. "This book is especially useful for getting one's bearings in the symbolic dimension of India's women. . . commendable for it critically spotlights, as no other collection has, a range of topics and problems important in Indian feminism. For all libraries with South Asia holdings." --Religious Studies Review "Any student looking for an introductory book on the issues confronting Indian women will find [this book] both comprehensive and insightful....[It] provides an important contribution to the development of alternative theoretical perspecitves in feminism." --Amita Handa, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Women -- India -- Social conditions.
Sex role -- India.
Femininity.
Feminism -- India.