Home Institution

University of Richmond

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

India: Sustainable Development and Social Change

Abstract

As a remarkably diverse nation of various ethnic, religious, and language groups, “Indian” identity is tenuous and ever-shifting, informed by both India’s colonial past and rapidly changing, ‘globalizing’ present. Economic liberalization within India has created vast economic changes in a relatively short period of time, sparking rapid cultural and social transformations. These changes are especially noticeable within the media, as the idea and figure of the “New Indian Women” was born from the transformations liberalization and globalization brought. This gendered construction serves to manage the conflict between modernity and tradition within post-colonial nationalisms, as the figure of the modern women is able to embody both the traditional cultural identity of ‘Indian’ and the reality of changing social structures. This paper uses Indian women’s magazines as sites to explore the tensions of national identity within a globalizing context, aiming to understand how women’s magazines construct Indian national identity within the tradition/modernity paradigm, and how this construction is embedded within the larger discourses surrounding post-colonialism, neoliberalism, and gender.

Disciplines

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies