Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/119350
Title: LIFE BEYOND DEPENDENCY AND VICTIMHOOD: IMMIGRANT INDIAN COOLIE WOMEN ON RUBBER ESTATES OF MALAYA (1900-1945)
Authors: ARUNIMA DATTA
Keywords: Gender, Labour migration, Coolies, Agency and Colonial Malaya
Issue Date: 18-Dec-2014
Citation: ARUNIMA DATTA (2014-12-18). LIFE BEYOND DEPENDENCY AND VICTIMHOOD: IMMIGRANT INDIAN COOLIE WOMEN ON RUBBER ESTATES OF MALAYA (1900-1945). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This dissertation investigates the realities behind the gender stereotypes conveyed in accounts of colonial authorities and Indian nationalists with regard to Indian coolie women in colonial estate societies of Malaya. It studies the experiences of coolie women in migration, work, political and social life and illustrates the factors influencing the attitudes of colonial society and nationalists towards gender relations. In so doing, it offers a complex interpretation of agency of subjugated individuals in colonial plantation contexts. Coolie women faced oppression from colonial rule, capitalist exploitation and patriarchal control. Often, to escape unsuitable conditions, women exhibited fleeting signs of agency, which were not acknowledged by colonial administrators or nationalist leaders; rather they used the victim image of coolie women for their own agendas. Illustrating the importance of gender in the political struggle between colonialism and nationalism, this dissertation suggests the need to understand how subjugated individuals reacted to oppressive situations.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/119350
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