Women, Wellbeing, and the Ethics of Domesticity: An Introduction

  • Usha Menon


This chapter previews the themes of the book, in particular the access to and experience of subjective wellbeing, among a group of Odia Hindu women living in the temple town of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, eastern India. It points out that, as an ethnography and as a multicultural feminist text, the book examines the concrete contexts of these women’s lives. It contrasts “imperial” liberal feminism with its emphasis on freedom of choice to multicultural feminism with its focus on indigenous opportunities for women’s self-empowerment. The chapter also emphasizes the value that temple town residents place on domesticity, an emphasis that is especially instructive, given the recent demographic shift being played out in the United States. In this shift, often termed the opt-out phenomenon or the opt-out revolution, highly educated professional women are reevaluating motherhood and domesticity and choosing to leave the workplace for the home—indicating, perhaps, that there may be more enduring associations between domesticity and women that many of us are willing to acknowledge.


Mature Adulthood Moral Power Senior Woman Hindu Woman Material Prosperity 
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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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Usha Menon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Culture and CommunicationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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