Fields of Protest: Women’s Movements in India by Raka Ray

By Raka Ray

The women's move in India has a protracted and wealthy historical past within which thousands of standard girls dwell, paintings, and fight to outlive that allows you to remake their kin, domestic, and social lives. no matter if struggling with for secure birth control, literacy, water, and electrical energy or resisting sexual harassment, a colourful and lively women's move is prospering in lots of components of India today.

Fields of Protest explores the political and cultural situations lower than which teams of ladies set up. beginning with Bombay and Calcutta, Raka Ray discusses the production of "political fields" -- based, unequal, and socially built political environments in which organisations exist, flourish, or fail. In different phrases, women's agencies usually are not self sustaining or loose brokers; really, they inherit a "field" and its accompanying social family, and once they act, they act according to it and inside it. Drawing at the literature of either social events and feminism, Ray analyzes the impressive variations among the events in those cities.

Using an leading edge and comparative viewpoint, Ray deals a distinct examine Indian activist girls and provides a brand new size to the learn of women's routine on an international point.

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Finally, some who oppose autonomous organizing argue that rather than be marginalized by maintaining ideological purity, it is better to ally with a popular left party and thereby reach more women (Wierenga, 1985). It is this concern that has led many feminist organizations in Europe to work with social democratic parties (Lovenduski, 1986). Over the past few decades, however, critiques of the organized left's relationship to women's issues have led to increased support for women's independent organizing.

This process of "constructing" an action system I call collective identity. —Alberto Melucci From the very first wave of feminism in the nineteenth century, feminist theory has fluctuated between conceptualizing women as different from or the same as men. 15 And it is a question that is often answered one way or another for both strategic and ideological purposes. The question has certain logical corollaries, as well. If women are to be considered different from or equal to men, then are their interests different or the same?

Ideologically bound to a narrow vision of women, the communist left is seen to be incapable of overcoming the "natural" division 16 WOMEN'S MOVEMENTS AND POLITICAL FIELDS of labor between men and women (Molyneux, 1981). Since many consider the critique of the division of labor to be essential to feminism, it follows that it is not possible to be a feminist within a traditional party structure. Some scholars consider those who choose to remain within that structure, such as women in trade unions, as less feminist (DuBois, 1978), since only autonomous organizing allows women to be active participants in their own destiny (Gelb, 1989).

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