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Title: Islamic 'reform', the nation-state and the liberal subject: The cultural politics of identity in Kachchh, Gujarat
Authors: Ibrahim, F. 
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Ibrahim, F. (2008). Islamic 'reform', the nation-state and the liberal subject: The cultural politics of identity in Kachchh, Gujarat. Contributions to Indian Sociology 42 (2) : 191-217. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This article argues that transnational Islamic movements provide discursive fields within which Muslim women in Kachchh, Gujarat, are able to contest prescriptive notions of work, the body, honour and piety. It reflects on the articulation of collective identity and its gendered dimensions, as manifested in a conjuncture of global discourses - Islamic reform as well as NGO-led political-economic emancipation. While neo-liberal development discourse is rooted in the philosophy of the liberal, autonomous, modern subject, movements of religious revival are often thought of as epitomising the non-liberal, 'traditional' subject. I suggest that the dichotomies of modernity/tradition or liberal/non-liberal are productively disrupted when one examines how these discourses become entangled with one another to produce subjectivities that are somehow indebted to both, as a new space opens up for women to selectively redefine choices that are responsive to both local and global conditions. The article also uses this ethnography to ask how we might reconcile global, transnational religious idioms with a more secular-liberal market discourse which, in turn, generates beliefs and practices that seek to manipulate identities in the public sphere. The article concludes by questioning the modular nature of the liberal public sphere, by reflecting on the role played by religious movements in constituting such asphere. © 2008 Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
Source Title: Contributions to Indian Sociology
ISSN: 00699667
DOI: 10.1177/006996670804200201
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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