Relational Reflexivity, Individual Choice and ‘Respectable Modernity’

  • Jyothsna Latha Belliappa
Part of the Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences book series (GSSS)


In Chapter 3 I argued that the nationalists’ discourse of ideal Indian womanhood, which played a significant role in influencing women’s positions in the emerging nation, has evolved into the discourse of ‘respectable modernity enshrined in tradition’ (Thapan, 2004). However, if we consider women’s accounts of their experiences in their families and workplaces across the previous three chapters, it is evident that another discourse influences how women perceive themselves and their positions in professional and family life: that of individual choice and responsibility. I begin this chapter by examining the accounts of four research participants to see how they create narratives of self. I investigate how they draw on available cultural discourses to do so and end by discussing the interplay of the two discourses, respectable modernity and individual choice.


Sexual Harassment Professional Identity Individual Choice Cultural Discourse Middle Class Woman 
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Copyright information

© Jyothsna Latha Belliappa 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jyothsna Latha Belliappa
    • 1
  1. 1.Azim Premji UniversityIndia

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