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Veiling and the Production of Gender and Space in a Town in North India

Veiling and the Production of Gender and Space in a Town in North India This article explores the way gender and space are produced in everyday life in a town in Rajasthan, India. The article argues that an a priori categorisation of spaces as ‘public’ and ‘private’ has not only prevented an exploration of the ways in which these categories are socially and culturally defined but has also hindered an understanding of the production of space in everyday life especially in relation to social relationships, hierarchies and power. This argument emerges from a focus on two aspects of urban life—the organisation of spaces in the town, and practices of veiling by Hindu and Muslim women. The article argues that while veiling practices of Hindu and Muslim women differ across community, caste and class, they also vary across neighbourhoods, based on the culture of the neighbourhood. Further, the kinship relationship that a particular married woman has with those who occupy a space, especially whether it is an affinal or natal relationship, is crucial in understanding women’s veiling and how spaces are subjectively experienced by women. Thus, a gendered geography of a town would also need to be conceptualised and mapped in terms of this subjective experience of women. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Indian Journal of Gender Studies SAGE

Veiling and the Production of Gender and Space in a Town in North India

Indian Journal of Gender Studies , Volume 17 (2): 32 – Jun 1, 2010

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References (49)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0971-5215
eISSN
0973-0672
DOI
10.1177/097152151001700201
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores the way gender and space are produced in everyday life in a town in Rajasthan, India. The article argues that an a priori categorisation of spaces as ‘public’ and ‘private’ has not only prevented an exploration of the ways in which these categories are socially and culturally defined but has also hindered an understanding of the production of space in everyday life especially in relation to social relationships, hierarchies and power. This argument emerges from a focus on two aspects of urban life—the organisation of spaces in the town, and practices of veiling by Hindu and Muslim women. The article argues that while veiling practices of Hindu and Muslim women differ across community, caste and class, they also vary across neighbourhoods, based on the culture of the neighbourhood. Further, the kinship relationship that a particular married woman has with those who occupy a space, especially whether it is an affinal or natal relationship, is crucial in understanding women’s veiling and how spaces are subjectively experienced by women. Thus, a gendered geography of a town would also need to be conceptualised and mapped in terms of this subjective experience of women.

Journal

Indian Journal of Gender StudiesSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2010

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