Women, Wellbeing, and the Ethics of Domesticity in an Odia Hindu Temple Town

  • Usha Menon

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Usha Menon
    Pages 57-75
  3. Usha Menon
    Pages 77-100
  4. Usha Menon
    Pages 101-122
  5. Usha Menon
    Pages 175-194
  6. Usha Menon
    Pages 195-217
  7. Usha Menon
    Pages 219-228
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 229-244

About this book


This book is a detailed ethnography of traditional, predominantly upper-caste, sequestered Hindu women in the temple town of Bhubaneswar in Odisha, a state in eastern India.  It elaborates on a distinctive paradigm of domesticity and explicates a particular model of human wellbeing among this category. Part of the growing literature in “third wave” or “multicultural feminism”, it seeks to broaden the parameters of feminist discourse by going beyond questions of individual liberty or gender equality to examine the potential for female empowerment that exists in the context of these women’s lives. Its aims are twofold: first, to represent these women in ways that they themselves would recognize; and, second, to interpret, rather than merely “translate”, the beliefs and practices of the temple town such that their underlying logic becomes readily accessible to readers, even those unfamiliar with the Hindu world.


Ethics of domesticity Goddess worship Hindu women in temple town Odia/Oriya Hindu women Orissa/Odisha ethnography Women and subjective wellbeing in India

Authors and affiliations

  • Usha Menon
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of Culture and CommunicationDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information