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Representing Women: Problematizing An Asian Identity

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Chapter Summary

The concept of Asia, as a colonial marker has been central to the way Asia has been represented discursively. Representations of women have been central to the representation of 'Asian society'. The representation of women living in the Asian continent has always suffered from the discourse of sameness. The engagement with colonialism created a Victorian middle class morality and the place of women as homemakers as its ideal representation of women. The imperial or colonizing gaze created the sign of Asian woman as a uniform state of double subordination overlooking, like the category Asia itself, the diverse and multiple identities that women in Asia hold. Cinema has been at the forefront of new representations from within the Asian subcontinent. This chapter analyses four films, coming from different areas of the Asian subcontinent and at different times, two made immediately after independence and two made in the last decade.

Keywords: Asian woman; cinema; colonialism



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