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    Changing Places, Creating Spaces: Santali Women in Local Level Politics in Rural India

    Wrenn, Carol (2013) Changing Places, Creating Spaces: Santali Women in Local Level Politics in Rural India. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    This thesis analyses the impact that a 33% women’s quota in local level politics has had on a tribal population in India. It is based on ethnographic research in a majority Santali village in northern Odisha, India. Using Marxist and Foucauldian categories, I assess the manner in which state imposed systems of governance interact with tribal governance structures and analyse how women outside of the political process have benefited from women’s political presence in local governance structures. In using Batliwala’s (2007) definition of ‘empowerment’ I analyse the extent to which the 33% women’s quota in local governance has challenged ideologies, changed patterns of access and control over resources and transformed institutions. Through assessing the numerous power relations within a Santali community, I show the degree to which women’s entry into politics through a quota system has changed the manner in which society functions. My ethnographic research shows the obstacles that elected women continue to face, and the formal and informal strategies they employ to overcome these obstacles and fulfil their roles and responsibilities as elected representatives. I illustrate the complex web of power which ultimately prevents women outside of the political realm from benefitting from an increased women’s presence in local level politics. However, I also show how these power dynamics are shifting as women deepen their participation in formal decision making structures. As India increases its 33% women’s quota in local governance to 50%, the power women continue to gain from this process will depend on the extent to which key lessons learnt from implementing the 33% reservation are incorporated into the new directive, and the extent to which macro level external influences impact on social change in the area.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Changing Places; Creating Spaces; Santali Women; Local Level Politics; Rural India;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Anthropology
    Item ID: 6749
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 09:30
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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