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