Roychowdhury, Poulami. 2015. "Victims to Saviors: Governmentality and the Regendering of Citizenship in India." Gender & Society, 29 (6): 792-816.
Gender scholars have argued that legal reforms against violence position women as victims in need of state help. Using data collected from 22 months of participant observation with survivors of domestic violence in India, I urge academics to re-theorize the relationship between legal reforms and women’s citizenship during an era of neoliberal governance. Burdened with administrative tasks, Indian law enforcement personnel manage new rights claims by displacing regulatory duties onto survivors and caseworkers. Women who have access to women’s organizations are able to take advantage of these changes and “save” themselves and other women from violence. This article shows how neoliberal governmentality, when combined with women’s organizing, has the potential to restructure women’s relationship to the state.