1st Edition

Woman, Body, Desire in Post-Colonial India Narratives of Gender and Sexuality

By Jyoti Puri Copyright 1999
    ISBN 9780415921282
    248 Pages
    Published June 21, 1999 by Routledge

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    ISBN 9780415921275
    248 Pages
    Published June 24, 1999 by Routledge

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    First published in 1999.Jyoti Puri draws on post-colonial and feminist theory to focus on how women in current-day India conceptualize their gender and sexuality. She provides a groundbreaking ethnographic study based on fifty-four middle- and upper-class Indian women, ranging from the ages of fifteen to thirty-eight. She argues that these women's narratives are shaped by not only the nation-state, but by transnational processes as well.

    Woman, Body and Desire in Postcolonial India connects important issues of class an nationhood to the emerging sense of female identity in India, covering previously neglected topics such as menstruation, gay and straight sexual experience, sexual harassment and assault, marriage and motherhood. Puri discovers that attitudes about sexuality and gender are surprisingly similar in India and Western countries.

    Chapter 1 Fictions of Identity; Chapter 2 Sex, sexuality, and the Nation-State; Chapter 3 Docile and Disruptive; Chapter 4 Tensions of Sexual Respectability; Chapter 5 Negotiating the Norm; Chapter 6 Rethinking the Requirements; Chapter 7 Hybrid and Hyphenated; Chapter 8 Conclusion;


    Jyoti Puri is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Simmons College, Boston.

    "[A] fascinating exploration and analysis of the limits and possibilities of national and sexual identities in postcolonial India and a timely challenge to received ideas about tradition and western in the scholarship on sexualities in India." -- Contemporary Sociology
    "A groundbreaking study of class, gender, nationhood, & identity in India...Unique in its linkage of postcolonial & sexuality studies..." -- Sociological Abstracts
    "An engaging and valuable book. Puri's insightful and provocative exploration of the limits and possibilities of national and sexual identity in post-colonial India is a model for transnational feminist analysis...[T]his study provides a groundbreaking cartography of the regulation of heteronormative, urban middleclass womanhood." -- Chandra Mohanty
    "Jyoti Puri's Women, Body and Desire in Post-Colonial India succesfully integrates interview data with a sophisticated and compelling theoretical analysis that engages directly with the topic of feminism and national identities." -- Atlantic

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