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Title: Making ladies of girls : middle-class women and pleasure in urban India
Author: Krishnan, Sneha
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 8480
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Current debates in the anthropology of the Indian middle classes suggest a preponderant theme of balance - between 'Indian' and 'Western'; 'traditional' and 'modern'; 'global' and 'local'. Scholars like Säävälä (2010) Nisbett (2007, 2009), and Donner (2011) demonstrate a range of practices through which the ideal of middle class life is positioned in a precarious median between the imagined decadence of the upper classes and the perceived immorality and lack of responsibility of the working classes. Sexuality and intimacy, it has been observed, are important sites, where this balancing act is played out and risks to its stability are disciplined. Young women have particularly come under a great deal of pressure to position themselves dually as modern representatives of a global nation, who are, at the same time, epitomes of a nationalised narrative of tradition. In this thesis I examine, through an ethnographic study, the ways in which young women's bodies are implicated in the normative reproduction of everyday middle class life, as well as unpacking the social meanings of youth and adulthood for women in this context. Further, locating my study in the context of women's colleges in Chennai, this thesis comments on the significance of educational spaces as sites where normative ideals of middle class life and femininity are both produced and contested. The chief arguments in this thesis are organised into five chapters that draw primarily on ethnographic material to examine categories of risk, danger and pleasure as mutually constituted in young women's lives through everyday practice, as well as the making of the everyday as a precarious and compositional event.
Supervisor: Gooptu, Nandini Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Middle class women--India--Attitudes ; Middle class women--Social conditions ; Women--India--Social conditions--21st century ; Women--Sexual behavior--India ; Feminism--India ; Youth--India--Attitudes ; India--Social conditions--21st century