The Journal Sociological Research Online had requested me to write a review on Women and Society: The road to change, a book edited by Ashok S. Kolaskar and Motilal Dash.
[The book] presents the personal narratives of 22 professionally successful women in India. This resulted in a collection of diverse chapters, ranging from biographies to analyses of the position of women in Indian society. Authors describe the opportunities they created or were given, or the activities they undertook themselves to improve gender equality for others. Some authors seek the solution in changing policies, with others providing inspirational guidance to younger generations
The collection of personal narratives formed an interesting read. In the end, however, the book seems to promise more than it actually offers. Based on the introduction, the reader may be led to expect an analysis of what factors lead to succes. Since only succesful women were part of this volume, such a causal (or even correlational) analyses could not be provided. Hence, my conclusion:
To conclude, this volume brings together 22 personal essays on the position of women in Indian society. These essays are interesting by themselves, but to the extent that the goal of this volume was to identify a ‘recipe for success’, claims on this account remain uncorroborated.
The full review is available online as:
Nieuwenhuis, R. (2013). Women and Society: The road to change (Book Review). Sociological Research Online, 18(3).