In Women of Honour, Karin Polit gives an ethnographic account of how relationships are shaped among the Dalit people of Chamoli, Utttarakhand. Through thick descriptions of everyday life—conversations, friendship, dress, work—the author shows that gender identity is a process. Questioning the assumption that Indian women are mute and powerless, she argues that the people of Chamoli—women and men—see themselves as part of an agentive unity. These networks of agency, which include divine agents, are described as the basis of an honourable life.
The book will be of interest to anthropologists, feminists—especially Dalit feminists, sociologists and cultural critics.
List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
2. Children, Bodies, Personhood
3. Engagement and Marriage
4. Taking on Responsibility
5. Wombs, Spirits and Male Offspring
6. Coming of Age
7. Reflections on Agency and Performance