Relational Reflexivity, Individual Choice and ‘Respectable Modernity’

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In Chapter 3 I argued that the nationalists’ discourse of ideal Indian womanhood, which played a significant role in influencing women’s positions in the emerging nation, has evolved into the discourse of ‘respectable modernity enshrined in tradition’ (Thapan, 2004). However, if we consider women’s accounts of their experiences in their families and workplaces across the previous three chapters, it is evident that another discourse influences how women perceive themselves and their positions in professional and family life: that of individual choice and responsibility. I begin this chapter by examining the accounts of four research participants to see how they create narratives of self. I investigate how they draw on available cultural discourses to do so and end by discussing the interplay of the two discourses, respectable modernity and individual choice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameGenders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences
ISSN (Print)2947-8782
ISSN (Electronic)2947-8790

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Gender Studies
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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