Fields of Protest: Women's Movements in India
The women's movement in India has a long and rich history in which millions of ordinary women live, work, and struggle to survive in order to remake their family, home, and social lives. Whether fighting for safe contraception, literacy, water, and electricity or resisting sexual harassment, a vibrant and active women's movement is thriving in many parts of India today.
Fields of Protest explores the political and cultural circumstances under which groups of women organize. Starting with Bombay and Calcutta, Raka Ray discusses the creation of "political fields" -- structured, unequal, and socially constructed political environments within which organizations exist, flourish, or fail. In other words, women's organizations are not autonomous or free agents; rather, they inherit a "field" and its accompanying social relations, and when they act, they act in response to it and within it. Drawing on the literature of both social movements and feminism, Ray analyzes the striking differences between the movements in these two cities.
Using an innovative and comparative perspective, Ray offers a unique look at Indian activist women and adds a new dimension to the study of women's movements on a global level.
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Womens Movements and Political Fields
From Lived Experiences to Political Action
Calcutta A Hegemonic Political Field
Negotiating a Homogeneous Political Culture
Domination and Subordination in Calcutta
Bombay A Fragmented Political Field
Coexistence in a Heterogeneous Political Culture