Author: Alice Thorner
Publisher: Orient Longman
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8125008438
By the use of methods of history, literary criticism and analysis of discourse, this volume seeks not only to illustrate the broadening of the sphere of women studies in India in recent years but also to point to the need for relating ideas about women and gender relations to the social and economic forces that shape history.
Women studies as a distinct field emerged in India in mid-seventies. But pre-occupation with the position of women dates back more than a century and a half. What is striking in the case of India is the way the women question became central to rising national consciousness. This volume brings together studies of how the women question was formulated at different times, the impact of conflicting pressures on women, their own reactions and the role they themselves played.
The paper in this volume reflect the refinement of theoretical approaches in many ways. They exemplify both the advances of feminist theory, especially with regard to notions of and interconnections between gender, male power and ideology, and the course of women's movements in the third world.
The real lives and mythic models depicted here intersect at various points - they are not two separate histories. Section I deals with real lives. Section II presents the formation of a nationalist iconography in fiction where nationalism is conjoined with notion of womanhood. In Section III are dealt with models for women provided by Indian tradition and its various interpreters, and the ways in which feminists have tried to grapple with them.
ALICE THORNER has been studying, writing and teaching about the economic and social history of South Asia since 1940. She is co-author together with her late husband, Daniel Thorner, of 'Land Labor in India'. More recently, in collaboration with Sujata Patel, she has edited two volumes of contributions to a seminar which they organized.
MAITHREYI KRISHNARAJ was former Professor and Director, Research Center for Women's Studies at S N D T Women's University. Among her contributions are: Essays on Women and Science; Women and Society in India; Gender in Economic Theory and Practice; Population, Gender and Development.