|Number of Pages
This book explores the development of a sociology of embodiment in the context of women's lives in contemporary, urban India. Through a critical analysis of gender and class, the author unravels the complexities that are intrinsic to the multi-layered and fluid construction of woman's identity in relation to embodiment.
Living the Body: Embodiment, Womanhood and Identity in Contemporary India is the first book that unfolds an understanding of women's experience of embodiment by a careful analysis of the facts gathered from an Indian metropolis. The author brings out numerous voices representing multiple subjectivities through interviews of working class slum women, professional upper class women, adolescent young women in secondary schools and in a slum, and the visual and textual representation of women in a women's magazine in English.
The book will be a compelling read for academicians and students working in the fields of sociology, women's studies, communication and media studies, anthropology, sexuality and gender studies. It would also interest a wide urban readership, especially NGOs and all those concerned about women's and gender issues.
Living the Body is a rich and lively text, one that does often challenge the reader due to a sometimes frustrating binary structure of its study and, at other times, due to the embodied experiences of women that are conveyed and the gendered practices that underlie them. Thapan makes a much-needed contribution to Bourdieu-inspired scholarship of habitus, bringing contemporary Indian women's lives to the forefront through ethnographic methods and a well-informed and well-crafted relevant theoretical framework.
(International Feminist Journal of Politics)
Undoubtedly, not a work that is merely another attempt to 'keep up with trends' or cater to the current passing interests in nonchalant gender issues, Living the Body is a meaningful sociological research in women's studies that builds on previous work focusing on factors that go to fashion women's identities and perspectives.... Living the Body will assist in taking further the understanding of womanhood in contemporary India.
This book is a contribution to the sociology of embodiment-mediated by gender and class-in the context of women`s lives in urban India today.... An interesting collection of essays. (The Book Review)
About the Author
Meenakshi Thapan is Professor of sociology at the Delhi School of Economics and Co-ordinator of the D.S. Kothari Centre for Science, Ethics and Education at the University of Delhi. She was Co-ordinator of the European Study Centre Programme, University of Delhi (January 2010-March 2012) and country partner (India) for the EU FP7 Project on EuroBroadMap. She is Series Editor for the series on Women and Migration in Asia, Volumes 1-5 (SAGE 2005-2008) and editor of Vol. 1: Transnational Migration and the Politics of Identity (SAGE 2005). She has also published Life at School (1991, 2006), Living the Body (SAGE 2009) and edited Embodiment: Essays on Gender and Identity (1997), Anthropological Journeys (1998), Contested Spaces. Citizenship and Belonging in Contemporary Times (2010) and (with Roland Lardinois) Reading Pierre Bourdieu in a Dual Context. Essays from India and France (2006).