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Modernity at Home

Leisure, Autonomy and the New Woman in India

von Abigail McGowan


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In ihrem Essay untersucht McGowan das alltägliche Leben und die eintretenden Veränderungen in anhand der durchschnittlichen Mittelklassefrau im spätkolonialen Indien. Dabei zeigt sie anhand von Postern und Kalender den Wandel der im Haushalt in dieser Zeit stattgefunden haben (Techniken, Modernität, Entspannung, Rollenverständnis).


“ It is in that promise of sanctuary for women that visual culture sources suggest a different answer to the appeal of home reform as compared to what is offered in written sources.  Texts like The Bride’s Mirror emphasize the importance of womanly success in the home for others: Asghari’s achievements are her husband’s job, her father-in-law’s retirement, and her sister-in-law’s marriage.  We never glimpse her savoring a cup of tea on her own or amusing herself at the sitar; instead she is always busily securing the comforts of others.  Such an emphasis reflects, in part, the uncertain reception late nineteenth century reform efforts met among men, who worried that change would disrupt their comfort and power in the home. For all that The Bride’s Mirror had to convince women of the need for change, it also set out to assure men that change would benefit them as well.  By the mid-twentieth century, reform might still be controversial, but it had won wider acceptance.  Thus, in mid-century calendar art, women reap the fruits of proper home management: when everything is done right, and the home is run on modern lines, women get to relax and enjoy themselves.  To women like Lilabai Patwardhan struggling to manage the competing demands of house cleaning, child care, and husbandly instruction, such a vision would provide a compelling incentive to modernize the home.“

5. Juni 2012 | Veröffentlicht von | Kein Kommentar »
Veröffentlicht unter Essays