The Volume continues reflections on presentations, reports and debates from the Beijing Women’s/United Nations Conferences in 1995 and the IX Interdisciplinary Women’s Conference in Australia, in 1996. With a long introduction and Summations, twenty essays and review articles extend to discussions of the disciplines and activism in relation to societies in transition, particularly in the Third World. Key issues are concerns with the development of activism and critical theory within the academic framework, but more significantly, also in the civic spaces increasingly inhabited by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and committed individuals, that are taking up the struggle toward understanding issues in respect of human rights. especially gender-. child, and- the aged-related, indigenous and social justice, welfare, over-development and industrialization in Asia, multinationals and globalization, GATT, WTO, intellectual property and plant variety rights, biotechnology, corruption’s, and the ‘glass ceiling’ effect that all but marginalized subaltern voices in these processes. Each essay is a critique of such phenomena, written by specialists, activists and ‘insiders’ alike who have worked on structural Adjustments. Human Rights, Gender, Religion and Reproduction, Gandhian Economies, globalization, womens Education, Health Ethics, Law and Social Justice, Family Planning and Population Control, Ecological Paradoxes and Environmentalism, Hybridity, Subalternism, Postcolonialism, and the Borderzones between these. The major region is South Asia but the 400 page collection extends also to China, Kuwait, and Australia. It is most important to understand the "The Other Revolution’ that will take us into the next millennium!
The Editors live and work in Australia, India and the USA; they write and organize conferences, symposia and publications (as this Naari Series Evinces) on a range of issues that stem from _ philosophical, — medical, phycological and moral reflections on the changing patterns of the human and natural world. They have published widely in these areas. Their more recent projects extend to an ethical overview of the problem of personal-Communal Laws in India, and a systematic historiography of the Colonial Construction of Mental Illness in India. The authors for this volume have been drawn from a large pool of activists, academics, free-lance writers and graduate researches from three continents.
The volume was originally intended to launch a new journal, Gender, Culture and Society. However, the editing team was faced with an unenviable problem. The sheer size of the collection brought together here, and the need to ensure wider accessibility, distribution, and active readership of the disparate range of issues discussed in these many pages, made it difficult to continue with the idea of a journal as the most suitable outlet. On the advice of the editorial executive and the publishers, in the end it was decided to produce this collection as a volume in its own right. This was a hard decision to take as the individual contributors had submitted their material for the planned new journal. Rest assured that the monograph series of which this now becomes a digited volume, covers adequately the need expressed above. In fact, the editors of that series (Naari Series in Womens Studies) proposed to merge the monograph series with the journal to serve both the respective functions and objectives under one print cover. The combined ‘plurograph journal’ is hence to be called: Naari Studies in Gender, Culture and Society East; West. We trust this collaborative innovation and a novel idea for a feminine genre will work. So this collection, with the indulgence of the contributing authors, now appears as No" 3 of the re-visioned Naari Studies in Gender, Culture and Society, East West. (The authors are at liberty also to submit their papers to a journal in the field if they so wish.)
I should like to take this opportunity to present a brief reflection on the formative processes and events that led to the founding of this project. The idea originally was to pull together and publish works (papers, articles, monographs, notes, memoirs, reviews, etc.) of significant quality in the area broadly described as Gender, Society and Culture, of/from both Western and Eastern regions which, from our perspective or perspectivism, must include indigenous, ‘third world’, marginal, and various invisible peoples in parts of the globe. The outline for the project was constituted by a small group of individuals that came together somehow to form the core editorial advisory team for such a project. That was in 1993. The objectives of the project were consolidated in July 1994 at the IV International Feminist Book fair held in Melbourne. Subsequent informal planning meetings took place in Beijing at the historic Womens Conference/United Nations conference in 1995 and at the IX Interdisciplinary Women’s Conference in Adelaide in 1996. In this time the editorial board has expanded and at present represents a mix of academics and activists, involved in the interdisciplinary areas related to the study of gender and cultural studies. A key issue for the foundation board members has been the evolution of these disciplines in relation to societies in transition; the notions of activisms; a commitment to the development in critical theory as it arises within academic institutions but most importantly in the civic spaces that nongovernmental organizations inhabit. In the present times, as: witnessed in Beijing, a large scale NGO (nongovernmental) and feminist movement has begun the processes of organization in relation to issues in the civic space, in the non-western world as much. This ‘Other Revolution’ is the subject of the first article and to some extent an introduction to the other articles included here. The range of perspectives thrown up by this collection, focusing on South Asia, is not meant to be comprehensive or excluding of other perspectives, rather it is a phenomenological exploration of an emerging field of action and scholarship. Subsequent editions of the project will be guest edited by members of the editorial board and invited guests. Volumes in planning include issues on Globalization and Structural Adjustments; Human Rights; Gender, Religion and Reproduction; Cultural and Post-Colonial Studies; Gender, Religion, Ethics and Law with regional volumes on China, South Africa and the Pacific.
The initial set of articles by Niranjana, Maistry, Kapur and Mittal examine the constructs of gender and identity. The conceptualization of gender in relation to context, reflects on the changing paradigms to the ‘woman question.’ They challenge universal formulations of a feminist identity. The historical constructions of a genderized identity may form the basis of a powerful stereotype about the ‘other’. In objectified knowledge about the subject a split between subject as constituting oneself and the powerful language of stereotypes is often maintained. A fluid approach to the construction of identity is explored in this initial section. This is reinforced in Maistry’s examination of Indianness in relation to African nationalism. In challenging a separation of cultures into two spheres, inner and outer, material and spiritual, a conservative view of Indian diaspora culture is often maintained. The proposal of the history of a self as indentured labourer, slave, in the construction of conjugality, and the portrayal of and religious and economic lifestyles, the multifaceted history of a migrant group emerges.
Kapur and Cossman’s self-reflections on action research and women’s rights in India examines the subjectivity of the researcher; the sense of identity politics and agency in relation to knowledge claims, and the evolution of participatory methodology. Mittal gives an account of the evolution of education systems in India, in the context of a colonial presence, nationalist fervour as well as the mix of influences contributing to the educational reform movement, i.e. Vedic and Victorian English value-systems, theosophical notions as also the uncertainty in England about the appropriateness of education for women. Arora reports from a study on the overall status of middle-class women in the current context of economic liberalization. The social disadvantages of gender in relation to childhood, marriage and sexuality are explored. Medun raises issues in relation to cross-cultural performance spaces for women and their representation i] mainstream western feminism. Al-Mughni’s portrayal of the pre-oil Kuwait community, links between economy, tight-knit patriarchial structures and the socio-economic construction of rigid sexual mores, gives some idea of the epistemic complexity faced by the present Kuwait women’s movement. The complexity of factors in the post-colonial space with relation to women is the main theme of this section; however there are a number of subsidiary features which highlight the complexity of the subject position in relation to gender representation and identity politics.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAS176 Author: Renuka Sharma and Purushottama Bilimoria Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 1999 Publisher: Sri Satguru Publications ISBN: 8170306299 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 380 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.54 Kg