Punjab Research Group

Contemporary South Asia: Call for papers

Posted in Academic Journals, News/Information by santhyb on November 29, 2011

Call for papers for a special issue of Contemporary South Asia: Gendered and social consequences of innovations in South Asia

Gender relations in South Asia are considered as a major developmental challenge of the area. Technological, social and organizational innovations have potential for improving living conditions and supporting people’s active participation but they may as well work against the better interests of the disadvantaged.

Here, we are interested in technical, social and organizational innovations that have a particular developmental role in South Asia, such as mobile phones, use of ultrasound for sex detection, micro credit, or social business strategies. Here, we will look at innovations as social phenomena: they are never merely commercial or technical ventures or products. They are necessarily socio-cultural projects, put into practice and created by socially-situated individuals and groups. Thus the interest lies more on the process than on the end result of innovation.

The idea of an innovation entails a taken-for-granted positive and useful goal – improving wellbeing by adopting something new or doing something differently than before. We would like to forward a call for papers examining whether the implementation or creation of an innovation actually manages to transform social structures of inequality, particularly gender relations, in South Asia. Or do innovations socially reinforce existing inequalities while benefitting only some particular actors?

This special issue seeks contributions that do not see innovations merely as economic or technological ventures but also as socio-cultural projects that have important gender-specific and cultural frames and consequences. In order to strengthen our understanding on how social and other innovations work in starkly hierarchical societies of South Asia, positioned, contextualized and culture-specific micro-level analyses are needed.

Guest editors: Minna Säävälä (Population Research Institute, Helsinki) & Sirpa Tenhunen (University of Helsinki)

Article manuscripts analysing primary data are sought. Please send a synopsis of maximum 500 words to the guest editors minna.saavala@vaestoliitto.fi and sirpa.tenhunen@helsinki.fi by 31th Jan 2012. The special issue is scheduled to be published in 2014.

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