Gender Roles In Indian Culture

1787 Words 8 Pages
Indian culture has ancient roots that have developed and strengthened over time. Concepts surrounding gender have been established and accepted by Indian societies and continue to be practised today. This socio-autobiography will analyse how sociological concepts of gender and societal forces have shaped my life in a largely negative way. Being brought up in a heavily traditional family, I have witnessed and experienced various elements of gender discrimination throughout my life. Despite questioning these inequalities, I have grown to realise that the answers lie in the sociological structures of Indian communities. My focus will be around the process of socialisation in learning gender roles and ‘doing gender’ as a child, and the heavily …show more content…
Social explanations – the way we are raised – are the greatest factors that determine egalitarian attitudes. Those raised in a traditional household will often go onto display the same characteristics (Gere, 2012). Through the process of socialisation, our behaviour is moulded to fit the gender roles of our society. Media plays a large role in building these gender roles and expectations in our lives (Das, 2011). I was born in India – where my mum was a homemaker for the first six years of my life. As a child, I would continuously be exposed to advertisements of women as homemakers and mothers to a point where I began to believe it as the norm. Indian ads have always shown men and women in stereotypical ways. Although, women are not objectified in Indian ads, they are constantly portrayed as young and dependent in household settings (Das, 2011). These ads reinforced the traditional belief that woman are subordinate to men, hence, Indian girls are socialised to be submissive from a young age (Tung & Haq, …show more content…
In the event of death, the son of the family performs the cremation ceremony. If there is no son, a man outside of the immediate family is given the responsibility – the daughters never receive this honour. I witnessed this happen several times at my grandparents’ death. The women of the family, including me, were unable to take part in the rituals and were required to stay home as the men left to the cremation site to perform their duties. In the event of my paternal grandfather’s death, the rituals were put on halt as they waited for the arrival of my dad. As he was the only son in the family, only he could perform the ceremony. This social practise is a result of historical traditions where women did not enter the public sphere (Puri et al., 2011). Women did not have an individual identity and so they were not able to perform religious rituals or have public standing (Puri et al., 2011). An early socialisation had been established to emphasise the importance of sons/men in Indian culture (Puri et al., 2011). Considering the amount of power men are given, women are immediately of lesser value and are pushed beneath

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