ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Of Feminist Selves and Politics

The Difficult and Uncertain Terrain of Negotiation

Changing the Subject: Feminist and Queer Politics in Neoliberal India by Srila Roy, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2022; pp 273, $26.95.

The women’s movement in India has been much studied and analysed in scholarly work. However, most of this work has focused on the period from 1970 to 1990 with a relative paucity of book length works which exa­mine the women’s movements in India in contemporary times. Srila Roy’s new book, Changing the Subject: Feminist and Queer Politics in Neoliberal India is an important addition which addresses this gap.

The women’s movement in India needs to be analysed on many intersecting axes: the shifts in its relationship to the state and market, the changing meanings of autonomy, challenges and interrogations of the category “woman” as the subject of feminist politics, the interface of movement work with development and advocacy among others. In addi­tion to this, the specificity of regional contexts within which movements are located and shaped is also an important analytical paradigm. The entry of “globalisation” seen in terms of an overar­ching framework of dominance needs to be nuanced by examining the uneven and sometimes contradictory ways in which neo-liberalism has unfolded in specific southern contexts. Roy loc­ates her ethnographic study and analysis of the women’s movement within these intersecting analytical threads. The book tries to understand the production of the feminist self and subject in the context of an environment not considered conducive for such a process.

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Updated On : 17th Apr, 2023
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