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Activism and Agency in India : Nurturing Resistance in the Tea Plantations (Hardcover) (Supurna
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During the period of 2000 to 2010, the tea plantations in India experienced a crisis and were at the threshold of transformation, framed by conflict and turbulence.
This book is the first interdisciplinary and intersectional work examining the nature of victimhood and agency among women workers on tea-plantations in North Bengal, India. The author views tea plantations as social spaces, rather than only economic units of production. Focusing on the lived experiences of the workers from the perspective of their multiple identities, including caste, gender, ethnicity, religion, location and kinship, the author uses the everyday as the entry point for understanding the exercise of agency, the negotiations of different spaces, gender roles and norms therein, as well as acts of protest. Both agency and space are are located in a specific social context characterised by unequal power relations, where the women workers occupy a subordinate position. There they are seen as continuums; from their everyday, hidden forms to the more overt and spectacular, from conformity and endurance to challenge and protest.
Offering an understanding of the gendered nature of the space and labour, this book examines the post-crisis period by mapping the workers’ narratives about their lived experiences and struggles in the times of economic, political and social tumult in the tea plantations of West Bengal. It will be of interest to an interdiscipinary audience interested in Devleopment Studies, Gender Studies, South Asian Studies, Social Activism and Labour Studies.