This chapter intends to address the question of womenâ€™s portrayal of working life in the khadans of eastern Indian collieries, their constructions of identities, and establish that it might be impossible to produce an accurate portrayal of what actual pit life involves. It focuses on examining how the work in the collieries is portrayed during interactions involving identity construction. The chapter identifies the discourses produced through relations of power in the broader social context of coal mining, as well as in the more immediate context of the research interviews. It shows how consenting to the idea of mining as tough operates as â€˜identity workâ€™ within the specific context of the research interview. The historical work of Ray Chaudhury provides a closer view of the kamins amongst this caste-marked colliery labour. Coal mining manifested the symptoms of colonial modernity that descended on feudal economic relations and production systems of eastern India and yet remained feudal in its organization and labour relations.
|Title of host publication
|Women Miners in Developing Countries: Pit Women and Others
|Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Martha Macintyre
|Place of Publication
|Ashgate Publishing Ltd
|Published - 2017