Re-Imagining Sociology in India : Feminist Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Re-Imagining Sociology in India
Feminist Perspectives

ISBN 9781138294240
Published May 15, 2018 by Routledge India
360 Pages

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Book Description

This book maps the intersections between sociology and feminism in the Indian context. It retrieves the lives and work of women pioneers of and in sociology, asking crucial questions of their feminisms and their sociologies. The chapters address the experiential realities of women in the field, pedagogical issues, methodological frameworks, mentoring processes and artistic engagements with academic work. The volume’s strength lies in bringing together Indian scholars from diverse social backgrounds and regions, reflecting on the specificity of the Indian social sciences. The chapters cover a range of key areas, including sexuality, law, environment, science and medicine.

This volume will greatly interest students, teachers, researchers and practitioners of sociology, women’s studies, gender studies and feminism, politics and postcolonial studies.

Table of Contents

List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction: mapping and marking feminist sociologies in India GITA CHADHA AND M. T. JOSEPH; PART I Reading and writing early women in sociology. 1 Early women sociologists in India KAMALA GANESH; 2 Reclaiming Neera Desai’s sociological legacy: women’s movements, struggles and organizations VEENA POONACHA; 3 The sociology of C. Parvathamma: going beyond stereotypes R. INDIRA; 4 Ratna Naidu: an intellectual biography KUSHAL DEB; PART II Pedagogies and mentoring: living processes. 5 Sociology, feminism and mentoring: contested sites of knowledge production and consumption ANUREKHA CHARI WAGH; 6 Transforming the sociology classroom: implementing a critical feminist pedagogy LEENA PUJARI; 7 Finding feminism(s): through life in general and academics in particular ASHIKA BHARGAV AND RHEA D’SILVA; PART III Substantive transformations: erasures, intersections, insertions. 8 Interrogating (non)consent in sexual intimacies and infringements: mapping the socio-legal landscape in India RUKMINI SEN; 9 Desire, violence and ‘pink money’: life of kothis in a small city of western India PUSHPESH KUMAR; 10 Organizing rule through an imagiary of the ‘masculine’: a case of the ‘martial’ Marathas VISHAL G. JADHAV; 11 Interrogating the sociology of environment in western India: a gendered understanding MANISHA RAO; 12 Gender, mental illness and the everyday: understanding the interface of psychiatry with the lives of women diagnosed as mentally ill BINDHULAKSHMI PATTADATH; 13 Narratives in feminist sociology of science: contextualizing the experience(s) of women scientists in India RENNY THOMAS; Index

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Gita Chadha is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, India. Her areas of academic interest include sociological theory, feminist science studies, sociology of knowledge, intersectional feminist epistemologies and visual cultures. She has designed and taught the first feminist science studies course in India at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She has developed frameworks for feminist archiving at the Research Centre for Women’s Studies, SNDT Women’s University, and has designed interdisciplinary pedagogic initiatives for integrating science and social science teaching.

M. T. Joseph is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, India. His fields of interest include sociology of religion, critical religious studies, cultural anthropology, political sociology, postcolonial studies, Dalit studies and masculinities. He is also a member of the faculty at the Institute of Indian Culture, Mumbai, a postgraduate research centre in sociology and anthropology recognized by the University of Mumbai. He is connected to the tradition of anthropological research pioneered by Wilhelm Schmidt.


"This book in honor of Kamala Ganesh is an excellent collection of thought provoking and deeply moving scholarly essays that simultaneously celebrates Indian feminist sociologists while providing us with a much needed historical, theoretical, pedagogical and methodological understanding of the intersections of feminisms and sociologies in India. A must-read for all those across the globe who want a deep, critical and nuanced contextual understanding of the multiple challenges, contestations, contributions and successes, that shape gender, feminism and sociology in India. These essays remind us that patriarchy, latent and manifest, is deeply entrenched in the gendered and intersectional hierarchies within departments, institutions and disciplines. It also successfully shows the possibilities from individual and collective feminist struggles to break barriers, erase borders, forge paths and innovatively re-imagine sociologies in India for social transformation. The editors, Gita Chadha and M. T. Joseph, together with the contributing authors of this volume, skilfully illustrate the importance of courage and conviction, of speaking out against injustices, of taking a stand and of why and when the personal is political. Through Indian feminist sociological research, pedagogy and practices, we see how the doing of sociology shifts the terrains of sociology(s) and feminisms(s) to be more diverse, equal and inclusive."

Margaret Abraham, Professor of Sociology, Hofstra University, New York, USA, and President, International Sociological Association (ISA)

"A first-of-its-kind interrogation of the still unfulfilled potential of feminism in Indian sociology, this volume seeks to bring feminism(s) from the margins into the disciplinary mainstream. It also poses, and seeks to answer, the awkward question of why this has so far failed to happen. An important aspect of this interrogation is the reconsideration of the careers of pioneer women sociologists, some of whom have explicitly identified with feminism or the Women’s Movement, while others were just ‘women doing sociology’ in their own way, building on their gendered life-experiences. A second facet is feminist pedagogy, into which is introduced consideration of the critical role of feminist ‘mentoring’. The volume also takes us into relatively new territories – of mental illness, science, the environment, sexuality, masculinity, and the law – asking what feminist perspectives can contribute to these relatively new domains of sociological knowledge. Altogether, this unique volume of essays is both a fitting tribute to the outstanding feminist legacy of the late Sharmila Rege and an utterly appropriate felicitation of Kamala Ganesh, one of India’s foremost feminist sociologists."

Patricia Uberoi, former Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, New Delhi, India