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Contradictory LivesBaul Women in India and Bangladesh$
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Lisa I. Knight

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199773541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199773541.001.0001

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Negotiating between Paradigms of the Good Baul and the Good Woman

Negotiating between Paradigms of the Good Baul and the Good Woman

(p.81) 4 Negotiating between Paradigms of the Good Baul and the Good Woman
Contradictory Lives

Lisa I. Knight

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on how Baul women negotiate the often conflicting expectations of them detailed in previous chapters in order to create a meaningful life. Although most Baul women move between contexts in which they have considerable freedom and other contexts in which they act on gendered codes of conduct, such as shame, modesty, and chastity, Baul women use some of those gendered norms as tools to carve out their own paths. This chapter demonstrates that Baul women do not leave these norms behind; rather, they draw on them creatively in order to navigate their travels, their encounters with strangers, and also their relationships with patrons, husbands, and anthropologists.

Keywords:   gender, agency, identity, expectations, shaming

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