Journal article Open Access

Learning from the Outsider Within: The Sociological Significance of Dalit Women's Life Narratives

Sharma, Bhushan and Kumar, Anurag

Dalit women have long occupied marginal positions and been excluded
from two major Indian social movements: the Feminist Movement
and the Dalit Movement. The researcher explores that how dalit women
have made creative use of their marginality - their ‘outsider-within’
status and represented their lived experience. The study consists of
the scrutiny of select life narratives of dalit women writers: Bama’s
Sangati-Events (2005), Urmila Pawar’s The Weave of My Life (2015), Baby
Kamble’s The Prisons We Broke (2008) to discuss and explore the sociological
significance of three characteristic themes in these narratives
(1) the interlocking nature of dalit women’s oppression, (2) endurance
and resilience, (3) role in transformation of community.
Thus the perspectives of dalit women writers create new knowledge
about their life, family and community. Their perspectives may well
provide a preparatory point for the development of the Dalit Feminist
Standpoint. This study may help other marginalized sections or sociologists
by putting greater trust in the creative potential of their own
narratives and cultural biographies.

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