English medium education, patriarchy, and emerging social structures: Narratives of Indian women.

Sandhu, P. (2018). English medium education, patriarchy, and emerging social structures: Narratives of Indian women. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 253, 55-78.

This paper adopts an intersectional, narrative analytic framework to analyze the autobiographical narratives of five North Indian women and examines how they associate their Hindi medium education (HME) with their socioeconomic marginalization in personal and social domains. Data were collected in face-to-face interviews. Analysis of participants’ stories revealed how they narratively constructed specific worldviews within which they reported multiple subordinations resulting from their HME, their gender, and their location in a traditional patriarchal society increasingly influenced by material considerations. The long-established practice of dowry was re-imagined to include ‘good’ jobs and salaries of prospective brides. These, in turn, were portrayed as crucial for successful marriage negotiations and for agreeable post-marital relationships. The women linked HME to an inability to secure ‘good’ jobs and salaries and thus constructed it as saliently responsible for deepening their gender- and class-based marginalization. Analysis also revealed the varying degrees to which they resisted such subordinations.

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Completed/published