Means of Awakening: Gender, Politics and Practice in Rural India
demy octavo pb 250pp ISBN 81-85604-97-5 Rs 345 Nov 2008
Providing an ethnographically rich study of local politics and gender in rural India, this book is based on the author’s extensive fieldwork in Janata, a village near Vishnupur in Bankura, West Bengal. She documents how women are emerging in the forefront of political struggles. The book explores both women’s political participation and agency, including marriage, dowry and women’s role in the panchayats. She notes how building of mobile networks has led to the intensification of rural networks. Tenhunen argues that the gendered understanding of politics not only limits women’s political participation, but also enables and shapes women’s political action and critical discourses because the local concept of politics does not exclude home kinship and the women’s domain.
Sirpa Tenhunen is an Academy Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland and the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki. She has co-edited with Lina Fruzzetti, Culture, Power and Agency: Gender in Indian Ethnography (Stree, 2006).
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