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Domesticity in Colonial India: What Women Learned When Men Gave Them Advice

Judith E. Walsh (Author)
Synopsis This book is one of recent studies which place the personal, emotional, the familial in historical context and highlight the space of the home in the world. In colonial India, the reform agenda was in the process of thrashing out rules governing home and family life, a process fundamentally linked to visions of nation and its components. Such politicization of the private space also meant that women, through advice literature, were offered participation in a 'new patriarchy' which challenged the older order of the joint family, but gave the woman the subordinate position in the new dyadic unit. Walsh questions the suggestion of acquiescence on the part of women who were at the center of the debate. Through her nuanced reading of sources, she demonstrates how these early struggles are the harbingers of the feminisms of today. What women learned by standing at the various intersections of patriarchy was to read, and to speak of issues of identity and agency. This complex but very readable analysis will be of interest to scholars exploring gender issues of the colonial period, as well as the lay reader curious about the ancestry of modern writings for and by women.
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Bibliographic information

Title Domesticity in Colonial India: What Women Learned When Men Gave Them Advice
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195667972
length xviii+235p., Illustrations.