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Women, Ritual and Religion in Urban Asia

Sun, June 26, 3:00 to 4:50pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: BF, 012

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


Urban Asia is a space where diverse political and economic lifeworlds compete and negotiate with each other and where women create meaning through everyday ritual practices. Women participate in diverse religious practices in private and public space in both formal and informal ways. Women’s ritual space often acts as a heterotopia - a counter-site that contests the normative order of space. Through this heterotopic mirror women fashion their self-identity as well as their relationship with their social context. Furthermore, these voices and practices trigger social changes and transformations. By means of observing women’s ritual spaces in diverse Asian urban contexts, this panel demonstrates how women negotiate and contest social and familial expectations and thus illustrates an important aspect of the role of religion in the constitution of contemporary urban life. The various papers in this panel trace the effects of heterodox, divergent and/or marginal forms of religious practices on urban lives, desires and subjectivities. Our aim is to explore forms of gendered religious subjectivities and constructions of femininity and masculinity that are generated by religious ritual and practice in the modern urban environment. This conceptual framework allows us to engage with the imbrications of religion, gender and the public/private divide in modern urban life.

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