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The Light of KnowledgeLiteracy Activism and the Politics of Writing in South India$
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Francis Cody

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452024

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452024.001.0001

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Feminizing Enlightenment

Feminizing Enlightenment

The Social and Reciprocal Agency

(p.68) 2 Feminizing Enlightenment
The Light of Knowledge

Francis Cody

Cornell University Press

This chapter pursues the seemingly much more basic questions of how women were targeted in activism and why it is that women participated in programs like the Arivoli Iyakkam in the first place. It seeks to understand the very process of mobilization from the perspective of activism. The Arivoli Iyakkam worked through a range of idioms in developing their version of grassroots feminism. The movement was, in fact, successful to the degree that it developed a style of “reciprocal agency” through which women paradoxically participate in a movement designed to foster a sense of autonomy out of a sense of obligation or duty to activists themselves.

Keywords:   Arivoli Iyakkam, social movements, literacy activism, mobilization, reciprocal agency, gender, feminism

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