Sunday, February 3, 2008

Caste and gender in Urban Kerala

The report of a study on caste and gender in urban Kerala, undertaken in the context of the experience of Chithra Lekha, a women who sought to make a living as an auto driver, is now available.

The study was conducted by two Hyderabad-based feminist researchers, P. Jenny Rowena and Carmel Christy, under a 2007 Sarai-CSDS Independent Fellowship Project.

Sarai: the New Media Initiative and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies are based at 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110 054.

Rowena and Christy write: “We have been trained in working with texts, to produce newtexts. However, our caste/gender locations always placed us outside and beyond the scope of most given academic texts. Therefore the need to create new tools, new questions and new theory has been very much part of our research lives.

“We knew that going to the field and gathering data about facts and facets that does not enter theuniversity discourse would prove important for us. This project has helped us a great deal in moving in this direction. We had started with three important theoretical questions. One about sexualharassment, one the Left organization in North Kerala and about the OBC Dalit relationship,

“This project has helped us gain enough data, insight and material for working further on all these levels. Most probably in our coming works we would be building on the knowledge we have gained from this and move on to newer areas."

Those interested may see Chithra Lekha.doc

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