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Textile Prison: Discourse on Shame (lajja) in the Attire of the Gentlewoman (bhadramahila) in Colonial Bengal

Himani Bannerji
The Canadian Journal of Sociology / Cahiers canadiens de sociologie
Vol. 19, No. 2, Special Issue on Moral Regulation (Spring, 1994), pp. 169-193
DOI: 10.2307/3341343
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3341343
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Textile Prison: Discourse on Shame (lajja) in the Attire of the Gentlewoman (bhadramahila) in Colonial Bengal
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Abstract

This article explores the relationship between social formation, gender organization, and morality. Exploring class formation in the context of colonial rule in Bengal (India), and attending to the emerging middle classes, the article specially focusses on changes in the design of women's clothing as signifiers of class/gender social subjectivities of women. This sartorial enterprise is assessed in terms of moral discourse put forward by women in their own magazines as part of their process of self-making. /// Cet article explore la relation entre formation sociale, organisation du genre et moralité. En explorant la formation de classe dans le contexte du régime colonial au Bengal (Inde), et en s'intéressant aux classes moyennes émergentes, l'article analyse spécialement les changements dans le design des vêtements pour femmes en tant que signifiants de classe et de genre dans les subjectivités sociales des femmes. Cette entreprise couturière est évaluée en rapport au discours moral mis de l'avant par les femmes elles-mêmes dans leur magazines, dans le processus de leur affirmation.

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