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Scripting lives (Narratives of ‘Dominant Women’ in Kerala)

Scripting lives (Narratives of ‘Dominant Women’ in Kerala)
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Item Code: NAG006
Author: Sharmila Sreekumar
Publisher: Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788125036807
Pages: 326
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 508 gms

About the Book

How does one examine the lives women script in the intimacy of diaries, letters and other personal narratives and how can one relate these to the social worlds in which they are produced?

Centring its investigation on contemporary Kerala, this study examines a range of diverse and seemingly disconnected discourses around the Kerala model, tourism, AIDS and sexual violence and argues that present-day Kerala maps two opposing worlds. It imagines itself as a perfected utopia and, simultaneously, also as a dystopia-a society that is on the edge of collapse. The book attempts to explore these divergent self-descriptions of Kerala.

Concurrently it also analyses a range of personal narratives to trace how 'dominant women' configure their selves. It deploys the term 'dominant women' to signal women of relative privilege, whose experience speaks simultaneously of devaluation and dominance. Their lives also signal the asymmetries, the instabilities and the inequalities within the category 'woman'. These women are, in many ways, the subject of the development narratives of the state. The book reveals how discourses apparently removed from women's everyday, shape their personal experiences and, in turn, how women's self-formations overwrite, extend and rework these 'larger' discourses.

Sreekumar's writing is compelling and textured. Her research, based on a wide range of women's narratives, makes this a riveting journey into the makings of modern-day Kerala.

About the Author

Sharmila Sreekumar is Associate Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay.



  Acknowledgements ix
ONE Starting Out 1
TWO Understanding Experience:  
  Moving beyond Gender and Genre 30
THREE 'Presenting Kerala 66
FOUR The Content of Utopia: Kerala Model,  
  God's Own Country and Women's  
  Narratives of Success 88
FIVE The Discontent of Dystopia:  
  Sexual Violence, AIDS and  
  Narratives of Women's Failed Bodies 143
SIX Interstice 194
SEVEN The World of Domesticity 202
EIGHT Odds and Ends 264
  Select Bibliography 275
  Index 303

Sample Pages

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