© 2011

“Neoliberalization” as Betrayal

State, Feminism, and a Women’s Education Program in India

  • Authors

Part of the Comparative Feminist Studies Series book series (CFS)

About this book


This book is concerned with the three-way relationship between neoliberalism, women's education, and the spatialization of the state, and analyses this through an ethnography lens of women's education programs in India.


education ethnography feminism Nation women

About the authors

SHUBHRA SHARMA Associate Director and Senior Lecturer in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and Affiliated Faculty of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, USA.

Bibliographic information


"An important contribution to the debate about the institutionalization of women's education." - Gendered Perspectives on International Development

"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