Journal article / Women’s Political Labour in Northern Kerala

Ajay, Anamika. ‘Engendering Political Labour: Findings from a Kerala Village’. Studies in Indian Politics. Published ahead of print, 27 March 2021.

Abstract: Literature on Indian politics has largely under-examined the role of the family in shaping party politics, with the exception of studies on dynasticism. There is a paucity of research that looks at the complex ways in which intimate lives and party politics are intertwined.

This article contributes to feminist analyses of Indian party politics by conceptualising politics and political labour in a way that does not exclude the role of the family. It presents the case study of a village in northern Kerala, which has been witnessing heightened political conflicts, to show how personal experiences and family disputes get politicised.

As domestic and political spheres bleed into each other, political parties become hugely dependent on feminine ideals and women’s everyday labour, affects, and sociality to survive electoral competitions. Yet, the patriarchal family and masculinised local party leadership use gender ideologies to celebrate hypermasculine political participation, undervalue women’s labour, and limit their political aspirations.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup
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