With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India

With Respect to Sex Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India With Respect to Sex is an intimate ethnography that offers a provocative account of sexual and social difference in India The subjects of this study are hijras or the third sex of India individuals w

  • Title: With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India
  • Author: Gayatri Reddy
  • ISBN: 9780226707563
  • Page: 185
  • Format: Paperback
  • With Respect to Sex is an intimate ethnography that offers a provocative account of sexual and social difference in India The subjects of this study are hijras or the third sex of India, individuals who occupy a unique, liminal space between male and female, sacred and profane Hijras are men who sacrifice their genitalia to a goddess in return for the power to confer fWith Respect to Sex is an intimate ethnography that offers a provocative account of sexual and social difference in India The subjects of this study are hijras or the third sex of India, individuals who occupy a unique, liminal space between male and female, sacred and profane Hijras are men who sacrifice their genitalia to a goddess in return for the power to confer fertility on newlyweds and newborn children, a ritual role they are respected for, at the same time as they are stigmatized for their ambiguous sexuality By focusing on the hijra community, Reddy sheds new light on Indian society and the intricate negotiations of identity across various domains of everyday life Further, by reframing hijra identity through the local economy of respect, this ethnography highlights the complex relationships between local and global, sexual and moral, economies This book will be regarded as the definitive work on hijras, one that will be of enormous interest to anthropologists, students of South Asian culture, and specialists in gender, queer, and sexuality studies.

    One thought on “With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India”

    1. This is a difficult book to read. It is full of jargon, complex grammatical structures and foreign words not easily translated into English. In addition, the subject matter (hijras, the so-called third sex of India) lends itself to sensationalism in the hands of less skilled writers. Kudos to Ms. Reddy for exhaustively studying a subject only recently studied in the West; namely, gender identification. For centuries, the Western view has been that there are only two sexes, and any other arrangem [...]

    2. Very interesting ethnography about the hijras of India, the so-called "third-sex". I was very fascinated in the subject as there isn't really a perfect analogy in Western culture for them. They are biological men who dress like women and perform various procedures to "unman" themselves (sometimes). Only they aren't really like drag queens or transvestites or what have you over here. They are a culturally endorsed group who self-identify as Muslim and yet pray to a Hindu goddess and perform vario [...]

    3. I was reading this book for my project research and I must say this is very interesting and realistic ethnography that I read related to this subject. I like the way author had traced the origins of the Hijaras and told us about both and bad about days. Before reading this book I had a pre-notion that this community has always been subjected to discrimination and never been respected but in this book I got to know that there were times when this section of society was also respected and enjoyed [...]

    4. This is one of the most recent ethnographies of hijras, defined as "phenotypic men who wear female clothing, and ideally, renounce sexual desire and practice by undergoing a sacrificial [and surgical] emasculation." While quite often repetitive, narratively flat, and minimally theoretical, Reddy's work provides rich data and a is worthy, though not entirely successful, attempt at an intersectional analysis of hijra identity that takes in more than simply gender and sexual identity, but also kins [...]

    5. I was supposed to read this for class last year (Anth 310) and then it was assigned for another class this year (Hist 333) so I read it this time around. I really like it. I think some parts are unnecessary and some are very much too in depth, but what are you to expect when you are reading a person's dissertation? It's well written, well researched, and the anthropology was well done. Reddy has a wide source of informants and she discusses as many perspectives as she can while still having a co [...]

    6. This book is definitely an eye-opener. It's a very informative ethnography that's impossible to put down. It's probably the only ethnography that I'd recommend for pleasure reading!

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