PresenterKANNO MISAKO - AOYAMA-GAKUIN UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF GLOBAL STUDIES AND COLLABORATION, SAGAMIHARA, KANAGAWA, Japan
Panel21- Panel Title: Violence against women in South Asian countries
In anthropological studies, topics such as violence against women in South Asia, including honor killings, dowry harassment/murder, sexual assault on Dalit women, and harassment in public spaces, are characterized by being tied to collective values and norms such as family ideology and caste ideology rather than individual hatred. In suburban villages near Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, where my anthropological research is being conducted, domestic violence is frequently reported. I have witnessed violence by family members and villagers in the name of “discipline”, and also “sanctions” including beatings, confinement, and locking out of wives, daughters, and sisters who deviate from social norms.
On the other hand, in recent years, while local women are constantly exposed to the possibility of violence, they are not restricting their behavior according to social norms, but rather they are attempting to create opportunities for self-realization and self-expression through education, employment, and social media. How then, do women perceive the risk of exposure to violence, and how do they decipher the logic of violence and manage to avoid it? Through an analysis of informants’ narratives, this paper focuses on the agency of local women in negotiating the norms that produce violence and examines the process by which the meanings and forms of violence are transformed through women’s changing behavior.