privacy policy

Emotions, Identity & the Entrepreneurial Self: Narratives of Working Muslim Women in Rural India


· Syeda Asia Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi (Delhi, India)


07/28 | 16:10-16:30 UTC+2/CEST


This paper explores the relationship between emotions, identity and work in the narratives of Muslim women from rural India. Using an in-depth account of two families from Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan where all women work, the attempt is to explore the articulation of an ‘entrepreneurial self’ that brings to light a newer interpretation of the emotions as a methodological conduit in anthropology. Describing in detail their struggles, negotiations and decision-making in the everyday, the paper aims to move towards socialities that are founded on complex articulations of emotions at work. This paper aims to bring to the forefront the spirit that these women carry to push the boundaries of cultural constraints. It emphasizes the need to move towards newer forms of anthropological understanding of emotions through work settings in order to critically depart from earlier theories of presentation and performance of the self. This paper explores the entanglement of identity, work and the ‘entrepreneurial self’ through a lens of emotions. Through fieldwork panning over two years with rural entrepreneurs in north India, the attempt here is to re imagine the complex interplay of social positioning as women, Muslims and earners of the household through their articulation of emotions in the everyday.