"Neoliberalization" as Betrayal: State, Feminism, and a Women's Education Program in India

Overview

Using initiatives by non-governmental organizations to promote women’s empowerment in rural India, this book draws new conclusions about the three-way relationship between neoliberalism, women's education, and spatialization of the state. Sharma gets to the heart of the assumptions and blindspots inherent in these programs and makes an important contribution to the debate about the institutionalization of women's education.

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Overview

Using initiatives by non-governmental organizations to promote women’s empowerment in rural India, this book draws new conclusions about the three-way relationship between neoliberalism, women's education, and spatialization of the state. Sharma gets to the heart of the assumptions and blindspots inherent in these programs and makes an important contribution to the debate about the institutionalization of women's education.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Sharma has written a fascinating book about women’s education and ‘empowerment’ in India. Grounded in a decade of reflexive, robust ethnography, her provocative work challenges taken-for-granted ways of doing and writing ‘third world’ feminism. In Sharma’s account, empowerment is less about progressive practices for change and much more about the production of subjects within governance structures. She skillfully weaves women’s own stories and experiences into an engaging and informative account of state authority, feminist expertise, and betrayal under neoliberalism. This is anthropology for the twenty-first century.”—Monica J. Casper, Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University and author of The Making of the Unborn Patient: A Social Anatomy of Fetal Surgery

“Sharma writes a convincing portrait of how education policy operates by entangling bureaucrats and program recipients at multiple levels, often producing contradictory outcomes.  By examining program failure as ‘betrayal,’ she ushers in a new way of thinking about neoliberal development policy. This book is a welcome addition to the scholarship on bureaucracy, development, and gender studies.”—Lamia Karim, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Oregon and author of Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230619913
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Series: Comparative Feminist Studies Series
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Shubhra Sharma is Vandana Shiva Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at Connecticut College. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a research fellowship with the Global Feminisms Collaborative at Vanderbilt University. Her next project focuses on diaspora communities, specifically Indians from Dubai, UAE, who now live and work in Canada. 

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction 1

1 "Education for Women's Equality and Empowerment": The Mahila Samakhya Program (MS) (1989) 19

2 "Getting There, Being There": Using Ethnography, Investigating Ethnography in Chitrakoot and Delhi 43

3 "When I Say We, I Don't Mean Me": Neoliberal Bureaucracy and Techniques of National Governance 75

4 "We Have to Move from Conceptualization to Operationalization": (Un)Easy Relationships between State and Feminism 107

5 "Empowerment Was Never Conceptualized as Entitlement": Problems in Operationalizing a "Feminist" Program 147

6 "Empowerment Should Be Collective": Four "Truth-Tales" 181

Appendix I: Mahila Samakhya Program Structural Hierarchy 231

Notes 233

Bibliography 255

Index 265

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