Book Reviews / Asian Journal of Social Science 38 (2010) 657–666 663 Swapna Mukhopadhyay (ed.) (2007) The Enigma of the Kerala Woman: A Failed Promise of Literacy . New Delhi: Social Science Press. 189 pages. ISBN: 978-8-18735-826-8/8- 18735-826-2. In this edited collection of papers, narratives and photo-documentation from research conducted under the Gender Network Project from 1999 to 2006, Kerala society is critiqued from feminist angles after removing the rose-tinted lenses of its internationally- acclaimed high literacy status. It provides a unique case study for the mixed blessings that achievement of state-wide literacy brings to the women of this speciﬁc South Indian state, often used as a model-state for the attainment of basic human rights in international discourses on development, social welfare and justice. The all-Indian, mixed-gendered team of contributors to this volume come from a range of disciplines, including econom- ics, development studies, psychoanalysis, rehabilitation psychology, history and photo journalism. The volume starts oﬀ with a chapter authored by the editor herself. She embarks on the counter-intuitive claim against the translation of high literacy rates among Kerala’s women to a relatively high status. She thus critiques Kerala as a model state to mimic — in terms of
Asian Journal of Social Science – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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