Raka Ray Lecture

Spring 2017 Lecture (1 of 2)

“Aspiring Femininity and Precarious Masculinity: Gender and Risk in India’s New Economy”

Featuring Raka Ray, Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rural to urban migrants and other non-elite seeking to be upwardly mobile are caught between two dominant narratives: that of the celebration of aspiration and entrepreneurship, on the one hand, and of women's empowerment, on the other. Women and girls have become discursively the preferred subjects within global discourses of development and neoliberalism. In the meantime, young men who do not have class advantage are increasingly seen as the losers in the new global order. Through this study of lower-middle-class young men and women in urban India, Professor Raka Ray will explore the gendered subjects caught between these two global narratives as they seek to take their place in an increasingly privatized, unorganized sector in a precarious, global, neoliberal economy.

About the Speaker

Raka Ray (AB Bryn Mawr 1985, PhD University of Wisconsin-Madison 1993) is Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the former Chair of the Institute of South Asia Studies and the Department of Sociology. Professor Ray's areas of specialization are gender and feminist theory, inequality, emerging middle classes, cultures of servitude, social movements and postcolonial sociology. Publications include Fields of Protest: Women's Movements in India (University of Minnesota, 1999; and in India, Kali for Women, 2000), Social Movements in India: Poverty, Power, and Politics, co-edited with Mary Katzenstein (Rowman and Littlefeld, 2005), Cultures of Servitude: Modernity, Domesticity and Class in India with Seemin Qayum (Stanford 2009), Both Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes, co-edited with Amita Baviskar (Routledge, 2011), The Handbook of Gender (OUP, India 2011) and many articles.