Embodying craftswomen's workspace and well-being in Orissa, India

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This article examines the processes of gender and workspace marginalization in unorganized production in India. By focusing on gendered practices of workspaces, narrated kinship, institutional relations and embodied experiences in the craft spaces of the state of Orissa, this article discusses the conceptual limitations that inform this discourse and argue for a culturally and geographically embedded understanding of work and well-being. Based on a personal narrative, the story of Chandana shows that places of production relations are not just marginalization processes, changing through the local and global relations of capitalism, but are discursively constituted by local politics of place and socio-spatial relations. In Orissa, the identities of self-employment are constituted and always entwined with precarious social practices, and bared on culturally specific notions of 'appropriate producers', 'dutiful wives' and 'social workers'. Such precarious body-space dynamic, it is emphasized, is critical for a grounded and locally meaningful understanding of spatial gender relations and for insights into thinking about marginalization of women's labour and well-being.

Keywords: embodiment; well-being; workspace marginalization

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00291950310002152

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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