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Living the Body

Living the Body
Embodiment, Womanhood and Identity in Contemporary India

First Edition

January 2009 | 216 pages | SAGE India
This book explores the development of a sociology of embodiment in the context of women’s lives in contemporary, urban India. Through a critical analysis of gender and class, the author unravels the complexities that are intrinsic to the multi-layered and fluid construction of woman’s identity in relation to embodiment.

Living the Body: Embodiment, Womanhood and Identity in Contemporary India is the first book that unfolds an understanding of women’s experience of embodiment by a careful analysis of the facts gathered from an Indian metropolis. The author brings out numerous voices representing multiple subjectivities through interviews of working class slum women, professional upper class women, adolescent young women in secondary schools and in a slum, and the visual and textual representation of women in a women’s magazine in English.

The book will be a compelling read for academicians and students working in the fields of sociology, women’s studies, communication and media studies, anthropology, sexuality and gender studies. It would also interest a wide urban readership, especially NGOs and all those concerned about women’s and gender issues.

Introduction: An Engagement with the Sociology of Embodiment
Embodiment, Identity and Womanhood
Cultures of Adolescence
Embodiment and Womanhood in Femina
The Body in the Mirror: Embodiment, Violence and Identity
The Body as a Weapon: Embodiment, Work and Identity
Aporiai of Resistance
References and Select Bibliography

Living the Body is a rich and lively text, one that does often challenge the reader due to a sometimes frustrating binary structure of its study and, at other times, due to the embodied experiences of women that are conveyed and the gendered practices that underlie them. Thapan makes a much-needed contribution to Bourdieu-inspired scholarship of habitus, bringing contemporary Indian women’s lives to the forefront through ethnographic methods and a well-informed and well-crafted relevant theoretical framework.

International Feminist Journal of Politics

Undoubtedly, not a work that is merely another attempt to ‘keep up with trends’ or cater to the current passing interests in nonchalant gender issues, Living the Body is a meaningful sociological research in women’s studies that builds on previous work focusing on factors that go to fashion women’s identities and perspectives…. Living the Body will assist in taking further the understanding of womanhood in contemporary India.

The Tribune

This book is a contribution to the sociology of embodiment-mediated by gender and class-in the context of women`s lives in urban India today…. An interesting collection of essays.

The Book Review

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ISBN: 9788178299013

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