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Writing Gender into History

The Negotiation of Gender Relations among Indian Men and Women in Post-indenture Trinidad Society, 1917–47
  • Patricia Mohammed

Abstract

The task of the feminist historian is not restricted to adding women, the sex whose history has been denied, to historical accounts of society. In order to engender history itself, the discipline must be challenged from both theoretical and methodological perspectives. To write gender into history, the historical construction of masculinity and femininity or the construction of gender identities must itself be posed as the problem. In this approach gender must be conceived of as another category of historical analysis in which the cadences in gender relations are juxtaposed and connected with the ongoing conflicts in society, especially the confrontations of class, race and ethnicity.

Keywords

Gender Identity Sexual Relation Gender Relation Indian Woman Indian Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Endnotes

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    Kelvin Singh’s discussion in Chapters 1 and 2 of Race and Class Struggles in a Colonial State: Trinidad 1917–45, (Kingston: The Press, University of the West Indies, 1994), published after the completion of this study, serves to confirm the ideas expressed in this extract and in the dissertation that 1917–47 was a period in which there was little cooperation between the different racial groups in Trinidad and that each was involved in consolidating separate communities. His data also support my findings, expressed later in this article, that the Indian community had by 1917 begun to be represented by a group of men who represented the patriarchal front of this ethnic group. In addition, his listings of the various men who represented the other groups all confirm the point I am making here, that the confrontation between the different groups was, at one level, between the competing male patriarchies. Women of all races were nowhere to be seen in these struggles.Google Scholar
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    Evidence of Indian women’s struggles against patriarchy during indentureship can be found as well in Rhoda Reddock’s ‘Freedom Denied: Indian women and indentureship in Trinidad and Tobago 1845–1917’, in Economic and Political Review: Review of Women’s Studies, (1985), 20 (43): 79–87.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Department of History, U.W.I., Mona, Jamaica 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patricia Mohammed

There are no affiliations available

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