Women's Agency and Social Change: Assam and Beyond focuses on varied oppression, power relations and ideologies embedded in the complex yet interdependent social, political, economic and legal structures, and women's subordination therein.

British intervention, 1826–1947, by itself did not impact the agency aspect on women directly, but the emergence of new forces and factors sowed the seeds of women's agency to impact social change, even if minimal. In the post-Independence period, British colonial legacy perpetuated the subordination of women through caste and class hierarchy at several levels, but an undercurrent of a feminist struggle persisted, not merely as a movement but also at individual levels.

The book is written with the hope of encouraging future research on women's experiences in the Northeastern region of India, and elsewhere; hence, a discussion on sources, methods and methodology is included in the conclusion. This book is based on the belief that knowledge production is, in itself, the praxis against oppressive structures and the need to understand the historical processes that slowly transformed women to become catalysts of social transformation.

Changing Patriarchy and Women's Space in Politics

Changing patriarchy and women's space in politics

A subtle yet significant impact of the intellectual ferment and various other social forces of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries of colonial rule in India was a discernible change in the forms of patriarchy or patriarchies that evolved not merely among the elite class, which was under the direct impact of English education, but also in the heterogeneous societies of the Northeast. While English education formed the basis of the intellectual stir, the social forces emerged through new ideas, reform and the growth of nationalism. One such social force was a ‘public patriarchy’ that emerged with the growth of the nationalist spirit and movement in India, which ...

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