Akma Chekkinankandy Puthiyapurayil

Her Haven of (dis)Harmony: Stories of Power, Agency & Identity in the Gendered Mappila Home

Revolving around four dwellings in the Muslim Mappila community in Kerala (India), this relational autoethnographic project presents the often marginalized voice of women in the contested site of the ‘home’, challenging its popular image as a haven of harmony. Focusing on the agency of women, the dissertation unpacks how gendered spatial programs of Mappila homes affect power structures and identity construction. This is explored through the analyses of discreet, nuanced instances of conflict between genders, and tactical forms of resistance employed in daily life to reclaim one’s agency. The thesis posits that gender, space and identity are relational, processual, and socially reproduced, maintained and subverted through repetitive performances.