ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Relevance of Research on Women

Meenakshi has chosen tour novels to prove this. (1) Indira by Bankimchandra Chatterji (Bengali); (2) Indulekha by O Chandu Menon (Malayalam); (3) Pan Lakshyan Kon Gheio by Harinarayan Apte (Marathi); (4) Umrao Jan Ada by Mirza Mohammad Hadi Ruswa (Urdu). Meenakshi has also made a detailed analysis of the writings of Saratchandra Chatterji in whom, she feels, the popular fiction reading taste of all regions of the country converged. While the literary critics don't find his works worth discussing, it is a fact that Saratchandra was the most translated writer of his times. Almost all his works were translated into Tamil I remember, and continued to be till the fifties. The situations in his works were universally Indian and for a long time, those like me who were young kids reading up the novels lying around at home, did not know DEVELOPMENT STUDIES as a new discipline was an outgrowth of economic development and in the fifties and sixties many Centres for Development Studies were set up in many parts of the country, usually pioneered by a distinguished academician who had quit the academic portals. These research institutions that grew outside the universities were not specific to social sciences alone nor were all of them autonomous though they were outside the universities. Some of these research institutions grew as little academic empires of some celebrities; others were government institutions.

Class and Gender

are also similarities. Under both the systems the family or the household remains the basic social unit with all its inherited, historically derived biases and hierarchies. Sulabha Brahme records the advances made by women in the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and China. Haydee Villavicencio and Olga Herrera portray the conditions of Cuban women before and after the triumph of the revolution. Tran Thi Hoan's account of the struggles of Vietnamese women is inspiring. The discussions recorded for this session clearly reveal the overwhelming support and confidence in the socialist system even if the advances made in these countries were critically examined. Maja Kosak, a young Yugoslavian economist, said: "Progressive forces have to fight against traditional obstacles to women's equal participation in the society. Building a new society is not easy. It needs time and adequate funds. This cannot be forgotten especially in the present world economic situation and its effect on national economies. Socialism may not have given all the answers. But it shows progress." The papers in the Indian sessions, in striking contrast, dealt more with the particularities than generalities, and laid great emphasis on analytical rigour and critical examination of the data base Maithreyi Krishnaraj's substantive review article on research on women and work in the seventies is an enduring piece of literature in women's studies. The review article on middle class women's entry into the world of work by Neera Desai and Sharayu Anantaram traces the shift in focus in research from the earlier decades to the present time. Both the articles provide scope for researchers in women's studies to pat themselves on their backs (since few others bother to take notice of this body of literature) and to ponder in reflection. Certainly a good deal has been achieved. A great amount still needs to be done.
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