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

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Private Concerns in Public Discourse

This paper is based on a participatory research study that sought to explore the dynamics of community-based responses to domestic violence across five sites in India. The study was intended to provide documentation of how women-led innovative responses have emerged, how they operate, and how successful they are in addressing the needs of women subject to domestic violence. Community responses to violence can open democratic forms of dispute resolution and to operationalise an objective process through a feminist perspective, incorporating a strong element of preventive justice.

Perspectives for a Grassroots Feminist Theory

While the influence of western social theory has been palpable in the way social sciences, including women's studies, have been conceptualised and taught in India, it has also provoked a justifiably defensive reaction in certain instances. Theories and paradigms from the west may prove completely alienated from actual experiences of women at the grassroots. This criticism has often taken on an anti-west culture bashing, a growing tendency to question the 'Indian-ness' of the women's movement here or has led to ineffectual attempts to develop an alternative perspective based wholly on indigenous categories of thought. This paper is an attempt to analyse the presuppositions that define the need for a 'grassroots feminist theory'.
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