Tarini Shipurkar is the winner of the 2016 IIAS National Master's Thesis Prize in Asian Studies. She wrote her thesis, entiled Gender on Campus: Redefining Gender Identities at Jawaharlal Nehru University, at the Institute of Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University (May 2016).
My research focused on how young women from small provincial towns in India – marked by largely unequal gendered relations - transform their understandings of space and gender when they migrate to study in a ‘metropolitan’ city. These women are simultaneously part of two social worlds – interacting with different people in the university spaces, as well as keeping ties with their family and kin group back home; crossing physical as well as symbolic boundaries on a daily basis. Comparing the experiences of the women in these two spaces – the home and the university – I examine how the university serves as a space for the young women to explore aspects of their lives that the context of their homes did not permit.
Today, many parts of India are simultaneously undergoing rapid socio-economic development and an enormous transformation in the social fabric of societal relations. It is in this period of transition - in the Indian social fabric, as well as the adolescent lives of young women - that I situate my research. I focus on the experiences of the young women in India that do get the opportunity to move away from their homes and live an ‘independent’ life before marriage, analysing how they grapple with the differing notions of gender and space in a new space ‘away’ from home. Using a comparative perspective I analyse the articulations and constitution of gendered identity - through the lens of spatiality.
- Social Anthropology; Gender and Space
Country of origin
Period of stay at IIAS
Gender on Campus: Redefining gender identities at Jawaharlal Nehru University