A Reaction Of Narayan 's Dislocating Cultures Essay

1332 Words Oct 5th, 2015 null Page
A Reaction to Narayan’s Dislocating Cultures.
Uma Narayan’s article raises multiple questions about how third world issues are perceived by western bodies. In her article, Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third World Feminism, she looks at the “‘effects’ that national contexts have on the construction of feminist issues and the ways in which understandings of issues are then affected by border crossings across national boundaries” and how culture is invoked in explaining the forms of violence that stem from these issues (p.213). She explains this phenomenon by focusing on dowry murder in India. Dowry murder has caused a large outcry and shock, even on the part of the author. But there is a certain shock that arises from western individuals, which tends to ‘exoticize’ and reinforce the notion of the ‘other’ regarding Indian culture. She refers to Elisabeth Bumiller’s novel, May You be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey among the Women of India, and she narrows her focus down to chapter three “Flames: A Bride Burning and a Sati.” The author provides a context for understanding her story, in which she mentions a brief account of the mythological Goddess Sita, who threw herself “into a fire to prove her chastity to her husband Rama” and goes on to make a statement about how fire is an integral part of Indian women’s lives, “a cause of their death and a symbol, … of oppression” (p. 221). She goes on further to describe two women’s experiences with fire and…

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