Signposts: Gender Issues in Post-independence India
Rajeswari Sunder Rajan
Rutgers University Press, 2001 - History - 382 pages
As a newly-independent nation-state, India saw itself as initiating progressive social change, increasing economic prosperity and encouraging the advancement of political ideals. Though the reality has been a vastly different one of struggle, compromise, and the lapse of ideals, there have been some hard-won gains in these areas. Issues of gender have been central to the process of new nation-state formation.
The essays in this volume map the concerns of gender onto the terrain of nation, finding significant connections, disjunctions, and tensions between them. The authors argue that for any cultural analysis to be performed in the context of the decolonized nation-space, gender must take centre stage.
The essays explore gender as a point of crisis in the cultural, social and political space of the nation. They attribute the existence of these crises to conflicts between gender, on the one hand, and family, community and nation on the other. These are then analyzed in terms of female identity, subjectivity and agency within a narrative of historical modernity.
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