Advertisement

Sources of Power and Agency

  • Sarwar Alam
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter pays attention to the factors that contribute to a sense of power and agency among Muslim women in Chandhara. While describing the sources of power and agency, most of the informants, took the authority of men as granted. Women described their sources of power and agency within the sphere of men’s authority, to which they remain obedient because they believe that it is their moral obligation to uphold the traditions of their community. According to the informants, women’s source of power and agency differs from that of men’s. There are some moral virtues that are particularly applicable to women, such as patience (sabr), shyness (sharam), and modesty (haya). This chapter also analyzes how the narratives of the informants vary due to their age, education, class, social standing, marital status, and gender.

Bibliography

  1. Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1985. “Honor and the Sentiments of Loss in a Bedouin Society.” American Ethnologist 12 (2): 245–61.Google Scholar
  2. Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1986. Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  3. Abu-Lughod, Lila. 1990. “The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power Through Bedouin Women.” American Ethnologist 17 (1): 41–55.Google Scholar
  4. Ahearn, Laura M. 2001. “Language and Agency.” Annual Review of Anthropology 30 (October): 109–37. http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.anthro.30.1.109?journalCode=anthro.
  5. Alam, Sarwar. 2007. “Islam, Culture, and the Power of Women in a Bangladesh Village.” In Voices of Islam, five vols., edited by Vincent J. Cornell, 3: 35–56. Westport, CT and London: Praeger.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, Catherine. 1998. “Performance.” In Critical Terms for Religious Studies, edited by Mark Taylor, 205–24. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1966. “The Sentiment of Honor in Kabyle Society.” In Honor and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society, edited by Jean A. Peristiany, 191–241. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977 [1972]. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Translated by Richard Nice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Das, Veena. 1995. Critical Events: An Anthropological Perspective on Contemporary India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, John. 1977. People of the Mediterranean: An Essay in Comparative Social Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. De Beauvoir, Simone. 1972 [1949]. The Second Sex. Edited and translated by H.M. Parshley. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar
  12. Eaton, Richard M. 1985. “Approaches to the Study of Conversion to Islam in India.” In Approaches to Islam in Religious Studies, edited by Richard M. Martin, 106–23. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  13. Eaton, Richard M. 2000. Essays on Islam and Indian History. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Gilmore, David D., ed. 1987. Honor and Shame and the Unity of the Mediterranean. Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association.Google Scholar
  15. Herzfeld, Michael. 1984. “The Horns of the Mediterraneanist Dilemma.” American Anthologist 11 (3): 439–54.Google Scholar
  16. Kandiyoti, Deniz. 1994. “Identity and Its Discontents: Women and the Nation.” In Colonial Discourse and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader, edited by Patrick Williams and Laura Chrisman, 376–91. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Karim, Lamia. 2011. Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women and Debt in Bangladesh. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  18. Lukes, Steven. 2005 [1974]. Power: A Radical View, 2nd edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Mahmood, Saba. 2005. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Mannan, Manzurul. 2015. BRAC, Global Policy Language, and Women in Bangladesh: Transformation and Manipulation. Albany: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  21. Marcus, Michel A. 1987. “Horsemen Are the Fence of the Land: Honor and History among the Ghiyata of Eastern Morocco.” In Honor and Shame and the Unity of the Mediterranean, edited by David D. Gilmore, 49–61. Washington, DC: American Anthropological Association.Google Scholar
  22. McHugh, Ernestine L. 1998. “Situating Persons: Honor and Identity in Nepal.” In Selves in Time and Place: Identities, Experience, and History in Nepal, edited by Debra Skinner, Alfred Pach III, and Dorothy Holland, 155–74. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  23. Meeker, Michael E. 1979. Literature and Violence in North Arabia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Menon, Ritu, and Kamla Bhasin, eds. 1998. Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition. New Delhi: Kali for Women Press.Google Scholar
  25. Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Affairs. 2004. An Introduction to Development Projects.Google Scholar
  26. Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 1991. “Hazards of Modernity and Morality: Women, State and Ideology in Contemporary Iran.” In Women, Islam and the State, edited by Deniz Kandiyoti, 48–76. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Najmabadi, Afsaneh. 1997. “The Erotic Vatan [Homeland] as Beloved and Mother: To Love, to Possess, and to Protect.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 39 (3): 442–67.Google Scholar
  28. Ortner, Sherry B., and Harriet Whitehead Harriet, eds. 1981. “Introduction: Accounting for Sexual Meanings.” In Sexual Meanings: The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality, edited by Sherry Ortner and Harriet Whitehead, 1–27. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Ortner, Sherry B. 1996 [1990]. “Gender Hegemonies.” In Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture, edited by Sherry B. Ortner, 139–72. Boston: Beacon Press.Google Scholar
  30. Peristiany, Jean G. ed. 1966. Honor and Shame: The Values of Mediterranean Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  31. Pitt-Rivers, Julian A. 1977. The Fate of the Shechem or the Politics of Sex: Essays in the Anthropology of the Mediterranean. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Salehin, Muhammad M. 2016. Islamic NGOs in Bangladesh: Development, Piety, and Neoliberal Governmentality. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Sarkar, Mahua. 2008. Visible Histories, Disappearing Women: Producing Muslim Womanhood in Late Colonial Bengal. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Schneider, Jane. 1971. “Of Vigilance and Virgins: Honor and Shame and Access to Resources in Mediterranean Societies.” Ethnology 10 (1): 1–24.Google Scholar
  35. Shehabuddin, Elora. 2008. Reshaping the Holy: Democracy, Development, and Muslim Women in Bangladesh. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Stewart, Frank H. 1994. Honor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Thorp, John P. 1978. Masters of Earth: Conceptions of “Power” Among Muslims of RuralBangladesh, PhD diss., University of Chicago.Google Scholar
  38. White, Jenney. 2013. Muslim Nationalism and the New Turks. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Wikan, Unni. 1984. “Shame and Honor: A Contestable Pair.” Man 19 (4): 635–52.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarwar Alam
    • 1
  1. 1.King Fahd Center for Middle East StudiesUniversity of ArkansasFayettevilleUSA

Personalised recommendations