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 4: The Body in the Mirror: Embodiment, Violence and Identity
The Body in the Mirror: Embodiment, Violence and Identity
This chapter is based on material from interviews with two categories of women: those who are educated, professionals, upper class and engaged in work or are homemakers. The second category includes women who are from a more middle class socio-economic background, working outside the homes and who speak their mother tongue as their first language.1 The women in the first category have all received education at fee-paying private schools and have studied with English as the medium of instruction throughout. Many of them have studied abroad at institutions of higher education and have travelled outside India. They are cosmopolitan in demeanour, sartorial styles, and lifestyles. There are variations ...