"Dewey presents a complex portrait of what it means to both negotiate and perform ‘Miss India.’ Her sections on the young women who are the pageant contestants is fascinating, as is her description of the training program designed to turn otherwise ordinary young women into symbols of Indian beauty and femininity. . . . A captivating glimpse into the unique way in which a nation positions itself in a global society. Recommended."—Choice
"Dewey provides a persuasive account of the complex interconnection between globalization, nation, and gender through the detailed analysis of the Miss India pageant. . . . Highly accessible and well supported with rich ethnographic data and illustrations."—Anthropology Quarterly
For almost half a century, the Miss India competition has been a prominent feature of Indian popular culture, influencing, over time, the conventional standard for female beauty. As India participates increasingly in a global economy, that standard is gradually being shaped by forces beyond the country’s borders. Through the unexpected lens of the 2003 beauty pageant, Susan Dewey’s Making Miss India Miss World examines what feminine beauty has come to mean in a country transformed by recent political, economic, and cultural developments.
Susan Dewey is assistant professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wyoming. She is a cultural anthropologist specializing in macroeconomic policy and Indian culture, particularly women’s culture. Dewey is the author of Hollow Bodies: Institutional Responses to Sex Trafficking in Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and India; Neon Wasteland: On Love, Motherhood, and Sex Work in a Rust Belt Town; and coeditor of Policing Pleasure: Sex Work, Policy, and the State in Global Perspective.
6 x 9, 260 pages, 17 black and white illustrations