This is a book about embodiment and identity in the context of particular women's lives in an urban setting. It is concerned with the development of a sociology of embodiment in the context of women's lives in contemporary, urban India. The focus on embodiment is mediated by gender and class, two critical elements that constitute identity in relation to embodiment. The study is based on material collected from interviews with working class women in an urban slum and with professional, upper class women, with young women in secondary schools and from material from a women's magazine. Apart from theoretical considerations, the book gives centrality to women's voice in the construction of her identity as an embodied being, located in particular socio-economic settings in urban India. The book also attempts to provide an understanding of resistance in the context of women's lives, both as a conceptual tool and a strategy in everyday life.
Chapter 1: Embodiment, Identity and Womanhood
Embodiment, Identity and Womanhood
This work is specifically concerned with the lives of women and seeks to provide an understanding of women's experience of embodiment in everyday life.1 The focus on women arises from an explicit effort to speak about the social, from the perspective and experience of women. It is only then that we can speak about ‘a sociology’ for women: when the experience of women forms the basis of understanding the social. The social then is not only about women, but from their perspective, provides the basis for a sociology that serves to help us discover and understand the larger social and political reality. Such a sociology, that takes women's experience as its starting point, does not objectify the subjects ...