ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New Touchstone for Kinship and Queer Studies

Hijras, Lovers, Brothers: Surviving Sex and Poverty in Rural India by Vaibhav Saria, New York: Fordham University Press, 2021; pp 268, $30.

I have written elsewhere about how the epidemic (AIDS) has coloured my life; hence this research. For me, the primary goal of studying hijra lives and sexuality was to learn about how we craft our lives and act on our desires while being strangled by the fear and stigma of this disease. (p 179)

Vaibhav Saria's ethnographic inquiry on hijras in South Asia is animated with compelling narratives, theoretical insights, methodological strategies, and the fullness of everyday hijra lives. In the anthropological and sociological viewpoint, situating hijras as a present category in the South Asian imagination—in myth, ritual, and everyday life, often associated in stigmatised forms with begging and sex work—Saria makes a deliberate shift from the global discourses of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention, health and human rights into the unfolded layers of small pleasures "composed of laughter, kinship, struggles and desires" in hijra life (p 2).

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Updated On : 4th Sep, 2023
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