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Gendered Citizenship: Understanding Gendered Violence in Democratic India (Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations)

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 22 Aug 2019
It has been shown time and again that even though all citizens may be accorded equal standing in the constitution of a liberal democracy, such a legal provision hardly guarantees state protections against discrimination and political exclusion. More specifically, why do we find pervasive gender-based discrimination, exclusion, and violence in India when the Indian Constitution supports an inclusive democracy committed to gender and caste equality? In Gendered Citizenship, Natasha Behl offers an examination of Indian citizenship that weaves together an analysis of sexual violence law with an in-depth ethnography of the Sikh community to explore the contradictory nature of Indian democracy—which gravely affects its institutions and puts its citizens at risk. Through a situated analysis of citizenship, Behl upends longstanding academic assumptions about democracy, citizenship, religion, and gender. This analysis reveals thatreligious spaces and practices can be sites for renegotiating democratic participation, but also uncovers how some women engage in religious community in unexpected ways to link gender equality and religious freedom as shared goals. Gendered Citizenship is a groundbreaking inquiry that explains why the promise ofdemocratic equality remains unrealized, and identifies potential spaces and practices that can create more egalitarian relations.
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ISBN-13: 9780190949426
ISBN-10: 0190949422
Pagini: 168
Dimensiuni: 164 x 242 x 18 mm
Greutate: 0.41 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Seria Oxford Studies in Gender and International Relations

Locul publicării: New York, United States


This book is definitely an important addition in the field of gender and citizenship and offers a possibility of interesting theorizations of time tested political concepts, especially in the present context, where constitutional and legal enunciations of citizenship are open for renegotiation and realignments.
Behl's work is important not only for centering gender, but for challenging political scientists' reliance on Western-centric formal legal mechanisms and quantitative indicators when measuring and assessing democratic citizenship. As a thoughtful piece of qualitative-interpretive scholarship, Behl's Gendered Citizenship is recommended reading for scholars of citizenship, religion, feminism, and Indian politics... Behl's research will help us understand howand why formal promises of equality are not often realized, while also offering a framework and method for better understanding why this may be the case.
Natasha Behl's Gendered Citizenship is a fresh and rich contribution to the emerging literature of gender studies.
"[E]xemplifies immense clarity in thought and prose... Taking seriously the call to examine embodied forms of knowledge production and an exploration of power relations in everyday life, this book comes as a welcome addition to intersectional feminist literature in the social sciences.
In an argument grounded in the lived experience of Sikh women in India, Natasha Behl revisits the meaning of citizenship, understanding citizenship as contextual. Her contextual approach bridges empirical and normative theory to take on one of the deepest threats to democracy's paradoxical exclusions, by recognizing the inclusive potential in seemingly undemocratic groups like religious communities. Behl shows what our secular mechanisms for inclusion exclude. Theimplications of her argument can be far reaching. Is political science ready for political theory to trouble the boundaries and measurement of its most essential concepts? This book raises that important question.
In this insightful work, Natasha Behl explores the coexistence of formal equality in India with systemic inequalities grounded in gender, caste, class, and religion. By documenting how physical and sexual violence and sexist norms undermine diverse women's participation in public life, Gendered Citizenship demonstrates why meaningful democratization requires far more than legal reform, and identifies initiatives that can promote more inclusive andegalitarian modes of public life. Moreover, Behl argues persuasively that political science needs a richer conceptualization of power if it is to acknowledge that all citizens matter.
Building on her empirical work among Sikh women active in religious spaces and engaged in religious practices, Behl has produced a nuanced, thoughtful, and exciting account of gendered and situated citizenship. This book will be of interest to all those interested in the gendered issues of democratic participation and its challenges, especially in the context of everyday violence and social disciplining.
In this compelling political ethnography of how Sikh women experience citizenship in India, Behl asks a pressing question relevant to all liberal democracies: why do the punitive effects of gender persist in spite of constitutional guarantees to the contrary? Pushing against the limitations of mainstream research, Behl develops the concept of situated citizenship to unpack how the pervasiveness of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as informal gender norms,gut the promise of political equality for all. Filled with the voices of ordinary Sikh women, Behl's book challenges conventional assumptions with an analytically rich account of how and why citizenship remains profoundly gendered.

Notă biografică

Natasha Behl is Assistant Professor in the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Arizona State University. Behl specializes in gender and politics, race and politics, democracy and citizenship, feminist and interpretive methodologies, and Indian politics. Her research is published in Feminist Formations, Space & Polity, Politics, Groups, and Identities, Journal of Narrative Politics, and Journal ofPunjab Studies.