Passionate Modernity: Sexuality, Class, and Consumption in India, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Passionate Modernity

Sexuality, Class, and Consumption in India, 1st Edition

By Sanjay Srivastava

Routledge India

336 pages

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Hardback: 9780415424158
pub: 2007-01-15

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Combining historical and ethnographic analysis, this book deals with the making of the heterosexual imagination from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present in the Indian context.

This unique book uses methods from anthropology, cultural studies and history to explore the making of modern cultures of sexuality in India. It provides an analysis of the sexual and domestic politics of the period by focusing on the vast corpus of publications and journals on sexology from the 1920s to the 1940s, and links Indian activities with those in other parts of the world. The author analyzes material that has thus far been outside the purview of scholarly studies, namely, ‘footpath pornography’, magazines such as Sexology Mirror (in Hindi), women’s magazines dealing explicitly with sex and sexuality.


"[T]he author largely succeeds in demonstrating that the narratives of sexuality and the modern self are markers of class distinctions. Srivastava shows how competing segments of the middle class make use of variously coded conceptualisations of emotional intimacy and conjugal modernity to establish their status." - Manish K. Thakur, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India; Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2010

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Sexual Swarajya, Debased Muslims and Uncontrollable Tribals: Subcontinental Sex Questions 2. Instruction for Utopia: 'Sane Sex Living', Eugenics, and the Making of a Transnational Modernity in the Early 20th Century 3. The Idea of Lata Mangeshkar: Hindu Sexuality, the Girl Child and Heterosexual Desire in the Time of the Five Year Plans 4. The Masculinity of Dis-Location: Commodities, the Metropolis and the Sex-Clinics of Delhi and Mumbai 5. Pedestrian Desires: Footpath Pornography and the Aesthetics of Fluid Spaces 6. Threshold and Surplus Subjectivities: Sexology Darpan Makes Meanings in Hari Nagar 7. Among the Veg: Tacos and Baby Pizzas, Shekhar and Monica Make Silent, Unsatisfactory Love: Domesticating Sexuality 8. "A Rainbow of Wishes": Tupperware, Female Sexuality, Home, and the World 9. Conclusion: Complicating "Sexuality"

About the Author

Dr Srivastava is a social anthropologist teaching at the School of Communication and creative Arts, Deakin University, Melbourne. He is presently Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Apart from articles in books and journals, Dr Srivastava is the author of Constructing Post-colonial India: National Character and the Doon School; co-author of Asia: Cultural Politics in the Global Age ; and co-editor of Sexual Sites, Seminal Attitudes: Sexualities, Masculinities and Culture in South Asia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HEALTH & FITNESS / Sexuality
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies