Merging Career and Marital Aspirations: Emerging Discourse of ‘New Girlhood’ Among Muslims in Assam

  • Saba M. Hussain


This chapter highlights the emergence of the discourse on ‘new girlhood’ among Muslim families from lower, middle, and upper classes in Assam’s Nagaon district. I focus on change and continuity of ideals around normative femininity in the girls’ and parents’ narratives around aspirations. Muslim parents in my study enact as a merger of economic and cultural ideologies by fusing together career and marital aspirations into a single concept of ‘appropriate aspirations’. Muslim girls on the other hand exhibit a range of attitudes in negotiating appropriate aspirations, often narrating their experiences using a storyline of the ‘aspirational victimhood’ that voices their agency and their victimhood at the same time. I argue such reflexive capacities of the Muslim girls enable them to assume ‘new girlhood’ in Assam.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saba M. Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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