The essays put together in this volume are the proceedings of a seminar on 'Globalizing Women', organized by the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University, in early 2001. The idea behind the seminar was to assess how women are involved in and affected by the profound economic, political and cultural changes that have been going on in India for more than a decade, under the name of globalization.
Globalization offers a particular model of modernity. As, in a patriarchal system, the onus of upholding and preserving 'traditional' identities lies upon the woman, any paradigm of modernity has a special implication for women and has to reach out to them so that traditions may be reformulated - whether as a strategy for cooption or to inaugurate radical breaks in them. Proponents of modernity, also, have to negotiate with traditionalities. The process of globalization as a project for 'modernity' thus has a special significance for women, whether they are the subjects or the objects in the process.
The volume is divided into three sections. The opening section covers many of the multifarious aspects of globalization. The second section looks at the impact of economic liberalization on food security, labour conditions and agriculture, and whether this impact has a specific gender content. The third section seeks a gendered understanding of changing cultural codes in the general context of rapid advancement in satellite and computer technology and the worldwide explosion in audio-visual media.