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Title:Speaking others, practicing selves: Power, identity, and communications in "Apna Ghar" (Our Home)
Author(s):Supriya, K.E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Kamberelis, George
Department / Program:Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):American Studies
Social Work
Women's Studies
Speech Communication
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:This project examines the relationships among power, resistance, gender and immigrant identity construction through discursive and material practices of battered immigrant women in Apna Ghar (Our Home), a shelter for battered immigrant women in Chicago, Illinois. The project extends current theoretical understandings of the relationships among power, resistance, and identity construction in two particular theoretical ways through the method of ethnography as praxis. First, the project argues that not only are multiple power relations reproduced by the construction of marginalized groups as other by the dominant discourses and practices of patriarchy and the West but marginalized groups themselves reproduce multiple power relations by constructing themselves as other through their own discursive and material practices. Second, the project argues that multiple forms of power are resisted and transformed by marginalized groups who reconstruct their identities through many communicative practices. In empirical terms, the project examines how battered immigrant women reproduce both patriarchal power and the power of the American social order by constructing themselves as "shameless" or "dishonorable wives," "immigrants," and "illegal immigrants." The project also examines how immigrant women in the context of domestic violence resist and transform both patriarchal power and the power of the American social order by reconstructing their identities as "abused wives," "mothers," "sisters," "independent women," "Asian-Americans," and "legal immigrants." The discursive and material practices through which Apna Ghar enables battered immigrant women to resist multiple forms of power are examined using the concept of the public sphere. The project then examines how the theoretical model of power and resistance extends Michel Foucault' s model by focussing on the notions of multiplicity, self-subjection, and self-transformation. The project conclusively argues for a research practice of multiple positionality for researchers of Communications and Cultural studies. The project concludes by examining the theoretical-research and practical-political implications of the findings for both scholars and Apna Ghar.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Supriya, K. E.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702678
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702678

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