Male ‘providers’ and female ‘housewives: A gendered co-performance in rural North India

Rao, Nitya ORCID: (2012) Male ‘providers’ and female ‘housewives: A gendered co-performance in rural North India. Development and Change, 43 (5). pp. 1025-1048. ISSN 1467-7660

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Problems of measuring and public recognition of women’s work are not merely statistical. This article highlights the co-performance of stereotypical gender roles, where men and women jointly seek to establish the status of women as housewives rather than as farmers and of men as providers, thereby upholding a particular social order and simultaneously reinterpreting the meanings of existing norms to include new realities. Evidence from rural north India demonstrates the discernable disjunctures between social norms, narratives and action. Conscious of the growing insecurities faced by their husbands in the context of a rapidly changing economy, women try to allay rather than aggravate them. Instead of asserting their identities as ‘workers’, their strategies for gaining recognition and reciprocity from their husbands focus on reconstituting gender relations in the household, by expanding individual spaces and making incremental gains within the existing social order, rather than struggling for wider transformative changes.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of International Development
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Depositing User: Nitya Rao
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2013 14:53
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 00:07
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7660.2012.01789.x

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