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Interrogating Motherhood

Interrogating Motherhood

First Edition
  • Jasodhara Bagchi - Former Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Women, Kolkata

April 2017 | 140 pages | SAGE Stree

Explores the many insights of Indian and western feminists analyses of motherhood both as ideology and as practice.

Interrogating Motherhood, the fourth title in the Theorizing Feminism Series, reveals that an understanding of motherhood is vitally important to understanding Indian society. The ideas and practice of motherhood changed once India became a part of a global capitalist system.

The book analyses motherhood both as ideology and as practice, and the complexities between motherhood and mothering where the concepts are glorified but the women remain subordinate. It further explores Indian and western feminists’ insights, examines the significance of mother goddesses, discusses regulations on motherhood in the wake of nation-building, and reveals the vulnerability of motherhood to the coercion of invasive technology and pressures of patriarchy where a woman must not only be a mother but also the mother of a son.


A Note from the Series Editor Maithreyi Krishnaraj
Feminist Debates on Motherhood
Motherhood and Patriarchy
Nationalism and Nation-Building
Reproductive Technology: Motherhood under Capitalist Patriarchy

…introduces the basic concepts of women’s studies, of understanding the world through a gender lens…

Samita Sen,
Professor, School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University

“…introduces the basic concepts of women’s studies, of understanding the world through a gender lens…” 

Samita Sen,
Professor, School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University

It is a gem of a book, which offers a good, solid, incisive introduction to the shifting demands of the ruling class from the female half of the population in time and space. While it takes up the social and economic function of motherhood, it has an integral view of the other services demanded of women in the family and outside, namely the sexual and domestic functions, apart from the useful romantic and affective aura they are supposed to provide. The contribution to gender studies is neither a campy manifesto nor a doom-and-gloom tirade against men: it is an invitation to think out some of the most burning issues of the day. Jasodhara Bagchi, in her goodbye gift to friends and readers, has offered a thinking woman’s way into the mess, and the rationale to fight it out.


Frontline, 10 November 2017

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ISBN: 9789381345177