Gender, Class and Reflexive Modernity in India

Hardcover | August 23, 2013

byJyothsna Belliappa

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This book examines how middle class women in India engage with divergent cultural discourses of respectability and individualism to make sense of their work and family lives. Based on in-depth interviews amongst women employed in the Indian IT industry, it argues that women attempt to conform to the individualist values of reflexive modernity by drawing on collective bonds within their families. It contends that the expansion of personal and professional choices does not always result in greater individualization but increases women's sense of responsibility for the consequences of their choices. As a result women's narratives of self are collective rather than individual projects, which are created in relationship with others. In this manner the book highlights the gender specific and culturally specific consequences of reflexive modernity in neo-liberal India.

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This book examines how middle class women in India engage with divergent cultural discourses of respectability and individualism to make sense of their work and family lives. Based on in-depth interviews amongst women employed in the Indian IT industry, it argues that women attempt to conform to the individualist values of reflexive mo...

Jyothsna Latha Belliappa is Associate Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Azim Premji University in India.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 9.67 × 5.63 × 0.72 inPublished:August 23, 2013Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230300189

ISBN - 13:9780230300187

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Table of Contents

1. Setting Out to Study Class and Gender in Contemporary India
2. Interrogating Reflexive Modernity
3. The 'New' Indian Middle Class Woman
4. Individualism And Responsibility: Women's Relationships Within Their Families
5. Women's Relationships with Paid Work in the Transnational Economy
6. Managing Paid Employment and Family Life
7. Relational Reflexivity, Individual Choice and Respectable Modernity

Editorial Reviews

"This volume is a welcome addition to the flourishing feminist literature by non-Western scholars that has, for decades, focused on the specificities of experiences of women living in different societies and celebrating the different strategies adopted by them. The process of adapting, adopting and changing concepts of modernity in the case of women in the IT industry has been meticulously analysed and contextualised by Belliappa providing a striking and valuable dimension to the growing body of work." - Professor the Baroness Haleh Afshar, OBE, University of York, UK  "In this book Jyothsna Belliappa provides a finely nuanced and reflective study of the middle class Indian woman. Her emphasis on the influence of the family on the lives of women through her rich and textured analysis, brings home to us the idea that modernity in India is not an individual project, and is constituted in social and cultural contexts. This book offers a unique critique of 'reflexive modernity' from the vantage point of being Indian, middle class and woman in Bangalore, the epitome of a changing, modern India." - Meenakshi Thapan, Professor of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, India