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.

Cultures of Adolescence

Cultures of adolescence

To understand the construction and experience of womanhood among young women in contemporary India, I turn to the everyday world of adolescent young women, in, and out of, school. Adolescence in India is a contested category as there is no fixed age span when young women may experience adolescence; it remains a more ambiguous and fluid category than it is perceived in the west. The term adolescence is Latin in origin and derives from adolescere, which means ‘to grow into adulthood’ and clearly there is ‘no single event or boundary line that denotes the end of childhood or the beginning of adolescence’ (Steinberg 2003). It has been suggested that adolescence comprises a ‘set of transitions’ that unfold gradually in the ...

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