Beyond the boundary: middle-class women in income-generating activities in Burdwan, India

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt, Pallabi Sil

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Work is a part of the life of women irrespective of their social and class locations. Women act as agents of social change and create new social spaces for themselves through income-generating but often informal occupations. This paper looks at the increasing involvement of middle-class Bengali women in various types of informal income-generating activities, and examines how their social space is changed through their work outside of home. Burdwan, a medium-sized urban centre of India, has an urban social history of conservative tradition-boundedness typical among similarly placed towns in the state of West Bengal, India. The paper is based on ongoing empirical research in Burdwan conducted via extensive field surveys and repeated personal interviews with individual women. The data used in the work are mostly primary in nature. The paper asserts that, while the changes brought about by women through such informal work are difficult to perceive easily, they nevertheless emancipate and empower women to a great extent.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)257-272
    JournalContemporary South Asia
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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