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Title: An ear to the ground: Between emancipation and subordination
Authors: Thara, Kaveri
Keywords: Domination
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: L'Harmattan
Citation: Thara, K. (2019). An ear to the ground: Between emancipation and subordination. In Pascale Absi, Françoise Bourdarias & Isabelle Guérin (eds), Figures anthropologiques de la domination. L’Harmattan, pp.1-31.
Abstract: Using the case of the fisherwomen in Udupi, I detail the complexities of using vocabularies of dominance. I choose to engage with the binary of emancipation and subordination, that is often used to examine women’s relations with men, to examine fisherwomen’s struggles to protect their livelihoods and the meanings they provide to it. I examine dominance at two levels in this paper: in terms of the dominance of categories and relations of dominance between men and women. As this research was located within a study on the social and solidarity economy practices of women in India and Latin America, I draw from the critical feminist analysis used in this study to detail the limitations of analysing economic practices using binaries of dominant and marginal, mainstream and alternative as replicating categories of modern and traditional. I argue that a conscious effort to resist these categories and instead examine the processes through which certain forms of work are marginalised and certain others mainstreamed, can reveal quite unexpected results of overlaps and links. In the case of Udupi’s fisherwomen I show how attention to the realms of meaning, life projects and desires, throw up surprising material that point to the manner in which what we consider dominant and marginal are in fact enmeshed in each other. I thus suggest more complex vocabularies be summoned that can speak of plural, contradicting, conflicting positionalities that are contextual and relational as also historically embedded. In these terms, vocabularies of domination/oppression can give way to more complex vocabularies that nuance rather than collapse experiences into binaries.
ISBN: 978-2-343-18721-1
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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