Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Women's self-defense movement - an approach to debunk patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness

This article examines the emergence and development of a women’s self-defense movement during the Progressive Era as women across the nation began studying boxing and jiu- jitsu. The women’s self- defense movement arose simultaneously with the rise of the physical culture movement, concerns about the strength and future of the nation, fears associated with immigration and rapid urbanization, and the expansion of women’s political and social rights. However, the meaning and transformation wrought through self- defense training varied from individual to individual. Women were inspired to take up self- defense training for very personal reasons that ranged from protecting themselves from stranger attacks on the street to rejecting gendered notions about feminine weakness and empowering themselves. Women’s training in boxing and jiu- jitsu was both a reflection of and a response to the larger women’s rights movement and the campaign for the vote. Self- defense training also opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own private lives.
Upper- and middle- class women saw this work as a natural extension of their role as members of the civilized Anglo race. Casting off the notion that they themselves needed male protection, these women assumed the role of protector of women of less civilized races and classes. In so doing, they were able to gain some degree of authority and power within the confines of existing gender and
racial boundaries. Women’s training in self-defense was both a reflection of and a response to the broader cultural issues of the time, including the women’s rights movement and the campaign for the right to vote. The discussion surrounding it opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant.
Our new book 'Her Own Hero' presents a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most important women’s issues of all time. The book takes us back to the time of the twentieth century, some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for reasons that ranged from protecting themselves to rejecting notions about feminine weakness. 

Grab your copy of the book today.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

What is the reason of decline in rural female workforce despite a discernible improvement in India’s rural economy in recent years?

The role of women in the socio-economic transformation of a country is now globally recognised. Though some national governments have taken affirmative action in the past few decades to improve the socio-economic status of women, those living in rural areas, especially in developing countries, continue to be marginalised and underprivileged for several reasons. Empowerment of rural women refers to a situation in which women living in rural areas have adequate, independent and equal means of livelihood and other economic, social and political opportunities for growth and upward mobility. Empowerment of women is a necessity for improving their status in society and therefore women’s access to economic and financial resources is vital for their empowerment.
While India’s economy has grown over the past few decades, its female workforce participation rate (WPR) is registering a decline. In 2012, Indian women comprised 27.37 percent of the country’s economically active population. Out of these, 60 percent worked in agriculture, accounting for 35 percent of the agricultural labour force. The contribution of women in farm production is estimated at 55–66 percent of the total labour force. Women by nature take on domestic household responsibilities, but such gender roles limit rural women’s participation in labour markets and confine them to lower paid and relatively precarious employment conditions. Particularly in rural areas, women face discrimination in accessing resources and services needed to improve their productivity, such as access to credit, secure land titles and education (FAO, 2011). If women can access the same productive resources as men, they can boost farm productivity significantly. The falling female WPR in India can be due to various reasons. These include what is known as the income effect––as household income rises, women start withdrawing from agricultural activities––low education enrolment; a lack of job opportunities and uncertain forms of measurement––it is difficult to accurately gauge the participation of women in work because of the nature of their jobs––home-based work, subsistence agriculture and so on.
Against this backdrop, this article from 'Social Change' aims to examine trends, patterns and drivers of female workforce participation in rural India, captured through the lens of migration, social and religious factors, land rights, agricultural income, education and wages. 

Read full article here.

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Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The book that the British banned is out now - How India lost her Freedom by Pandit Sunderlal

A book was being written long back, it created such a stir that a decision to ban the book was already taken by the British Government. The first edition of 2,000 copies appeared on 18 March 1929, and the book was banned on 22 March 1929. Between this gap of four days, 1,700 copies were sold. Mahatma Gandhi described this proscription as “Daylight Robbery” and advised the people to break the law and to face imprisonment rather than submit the book to the authorities. 

'How India lost her Freedom' the book that the British banned is out now and focuses on the crucial facts and events that led to the establishment of British rule over India.  

The early British historians tried to play down the role of their countrymen in subjugating the native kingdoms in India by all means. It was left to a few diligent historians to carry out painstaking research and unravel the facts. Pandit Sunderlal, who wrote this sensational book originally in Hindi in 1929, vigorously exposed the British plan to enlarge their sphere of influence in India slowly and steadily through a number of dubious methods. Apart from revealing the state of affairs between the Indian native kingdoms and the East India Company, How India Lost Her Freedom provides a fine account of what India was prior to the advent of the British. 

Pandit ji has quoted extensively from the original sources, exposing in particular the translations of Elliot and Dowson among others. It is a great tragedy of our times that most Indians are unaware of the true facts. Many serious controversies currently prevalent in our society can be understood in the correct light when you read this book. People will then discover shocking untruths and totally false so-called facts, which are accepted today by society, to be the creation of fertile minds intent on dividing the Indian society and weakening it.

RH Khwaja, former secretary to the Government of India, in the foreword of the book says, "It is my sincere and fervent hope that all readers of this book will start understanding that it is only through peace, empathy, tolerance and compassion that a nation and its people can develop. The seeds of bigotry and violence cannot blossom into fragrant flowers of peaceful coexistence."

Read this freedom fighter's account of India's struggle for Independence. A book that explicates how the British came to India, slowly penetrated the sub-continent and established an empire...a story recorded by many historians but not fully told.

Grab your copy of this book today at an exclusive 20% discount. Write to us at with code SM20.

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Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Customer Value Management—a sequential process of creating, quantifying, and capturing value

We all talk about value. It is something that is mentioned on every website, on every company brochure and on every booth at trade shows. For some of us, 'value' is financial or economic, while for others it is relationship-based or perceptual. Marketing and sales practitioners discuss value in the context of buyer–seller interactions. Strategy scholars focus on the extraction of value from the firm’s value resources (Bowman & Ambrosini, 2000). The bottom line is that we all define and understand value differently. This is why 'value' is so difficult to comprehend, to operationalize and to improve.

One question that is still debated in various literature streams and widely discussed in firms’ practitioner circles is that ‘Is value created, captured, exchanged or appropriated?’ Scholars might be aware of these differences, but in the field of practice, it is another reality. Of course, the answer to the question is not that simple. Two critical factors influence it: How do you define value, and value for whom?
An article from the ‘Journal of Creating Value’ aims to repeat, reinforce and rationalize the concept of customer value and to propose a process for managing customer value holistically and sustainably. It highlights the need for practitioners to manage customer value formally through the institutionalization. This article intends to clarify the difference between the three steps of customer value management. It posits that customer value management needs to be a formal process in organizations and that this process needs to be formally managed as well. In order to do so, organizations need to focus on the development of customer value management capabilities across the three stages of the Customer Value Management process: creation, quantification, and capture. The article concludes by stating that it cannot be just created, it is something that needs to be managed.

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Tuesday, 16 January 2018

The Impact of Celebrity Expertise on Advertising Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Celebrity Brand Fit

Endorsements are advertising messages which reflect findings or experience of someone other than the sponsor. It can be in the form of verbal statements, demonstrations or depictions of the name, signature, likeness or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual or the name or seal of an organization. Most of the endorsement advertisement includes celebrities, consumer, company professionals and experts. The studies have shown that celebrity endorser is effective for low technical oriented product and products with high psychological and social risks. On an overall, the celebrity endorsement is considered to create more recall of advertisement than any other endorsement strategy.

Celebrity endorsers are an important feature of modern marketing, and their use continues to grow. Celebrities Endorser is intended to provide the consumer with a shortcut by allowing the consumer to avoid the time-consuming task of comparing product attributes. Accordingly, it is assumed that consumers are encouraged to rely on the celebrity’s expertise or experience in making the right choice, versus engaging in elaborate attribute-based product evaluation. For this, the consumer uses the characteristics of celebrity to form a valid assertion of the product.

The effectiveness of the endorser depends on the meanings he or she brings to the endorsement processes. A celebrity draws powerful meanings from the roles they assume in their television, movie, military, athletic and other careers. Most literature in the field of communication and marketing have evaluated how source personality and lifestyle meaning influence a persuasive communication. Source expertise in the field product class endorsed is one of the most important celebrity characteristics that influence communication effectiveness. This study from the journal 'Vision' evaluates the impact of celebrity expertise on social advertisement effectiveness. The finding of the article indicates that when the marketers choose a celebrity for any particular products, they should consider a celebrity who has got experience in bringing value to that product range and who can fit well with the brand.

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Talent crunch, the shortage of skilled employees and their retention - major issue faced by the organizations today!

This modern era has witnessed a significant and rapid growth in the service sector. The cross-border business and technological advancement created plenty of employment opportunities in developing nations such as India. India has become the first choice of foreign investment in different sectors including service sector but the fact may not be denied that India is facing the talent crunch, the shortage of skilled employees and their retention is the major issue faced by the organizations today. The failure in retaining competent employees may result in heavy losses as business organizations spend considerable time, effort and money to train employees to develop them as the talented and valuable asset to an organization.
The employee retention is a process in which the employees are motivated and encouraged to stay with an organization for a long period of time. Employee retention is beneficial for the organization as well as the employee. Human resource is such an asset, which cannot be imitated by the competitors and considered as the competitive advantage particularly in the service industry. 
Employee retention involves set of policies and practices companies use to prevent valuable employees from leaving their jobs. Effective ER is a systematic effort by employers to and fosters an environment that encourages current employees to remain employed by having policies and practices in place that address their diverse needs. India is one of the leading developing nations; as economies develop, there is more choice of employment, organizations will find it increasingly challenging to attract and retain talent and potential. Factors such as gender, qualification, experience, and tenure also impact employee retention (ER) and Team Effectiveness.
Evey company needs to realize that securing and retaining skilled employees play an important role for any organization because employees’ knowledge and skills are central to companies’ ability to be economically competitive”. 
An article from the journal 'Metamorphosis' explicates the need of retaining valuable employees to increase the organizational and individual effectiveness. It brings forth the practical implication that employee retention strategies can help to improve and develop team effectiveness, which has paramount importance for service sector.

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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Are organizations ready for this burgeoning new generation that is entering the workforce in large numbers? Do they have strategies to engage them?

Millennials, also known as the Generation Y (Gen Y), born between 1980 and 2000, cannot be ignored. By 2025, they will make up roughly 75 percent of the world’s workforce. India will have the largest number of millennials anywhere in the world by the year 2021 but are organisations well prepared to cope up with the burgeoning new generation that is entering the workforce in large numbers?

The Life of YFacts suggest on the contrary that most companies are struggling to keep the millennial workers happy and engaged. The 2016 millennial survey by Deloitte on India has alarming news for companies in India. Almost 66 percent of the millennials or millennial workers in India are likely to change their companies by 2020. That works out to be two out of every three millennial workers in India. While world over similar trends are visible, India ranks third where there is largest probability of millennial workers leaving their current companies. 

Such poor level of engagement of millennial workers in India and rest of the world is a huge red flag for all companies. Poor engagement will not only have cost implications but will also have huge negative implications on the growth, profitability and sustainability of the companies, especially when going is not particularly easy for most of the industry sectors.

Any short-sightedness in engaging millennials can affect a business firm adversely in both the short term and the long term. Research also points to the facts that many leaders and companies are oblivious to the changes in the workplace due to the change in the composition in the workforce and that there is a renewed need to understand the new workforce to engage them better. The fact is that most of the organizational designs are obsolete and do not match with the behaviour, mindsets or aspirations of the new generation. Companies need to urgently revisit and transform their organizational designs to engage millennials. Read more.

To read about new strategies to engage with the millennial generation in the workplace and marketplace in particular and the society in general, grab your copy of the book today.

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Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Post-Hindu India: Interwoven caste and community dynamics

A recent rising trend has been noticed challenging the basic fundamental right of Freedom of Speech in our democracy. A recent case against social scientist and writer, Prof. Kancha Ilaiah, is an appropriate example. Kancha Illaiah released a booklet in Telugu, inspired by one of the chapters of his SAGE title,
Post-Hindu India, published in 2009. The booklet became controversial, thus catching the ire of the Vyasa community members for naming their community as 'Social Smugglers'. The author clarified that his book actually aims at removing the social evils to herald an egalitarian and healthy society that is free from caste prejudices.
As the author says in Post-Hindu India “…the book was born out of a gut feeling that the Indian nation is on the course for a civil war; a civil war that has been simmering as an undercurrent of the caste-based cultural system that Hinduism has constructed and nurtured for centuries.” He pens a thought-provoking critique of Brahmanism and the caste system in India while anticipating the death of Hinduism as a direct consequence of, what he says is its anti-scientific and anti-nationalistic stand.
Post-Hindu India explores the social, spiritual, economic and educational deprivation imposed on the Dalit-Bahujan castes. Kancha Ilaiah critiques the intellectual imagination of the dominant communities and inspires the marginalized. Read more
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Read what critics are saying:
"Ilaiah’s book is…a detailed examination of the productive knowledge systems of the Dalit-Bahujan Communities in Andhra Pradesh…. This is an important work simply because it offers refreshing insights into an old religion that is considered to be a way of life in India." The Telegraph
"The book is a reflective account of [the author’s] journey through castes and communi­ties and highlights everyday clashes of caste cultures and conflict between "the productive ethic of Dalit-Bahujan castes and the anti-productive and anti-scien­tific ethic of Hindu Brahminism". Tehelka
"The book is a passionate attempt to quench the thirst of the activists who hope for a social revolution."
Financial Express
"[THE] chapters are based on Illaiah’s deep knowledge of the productive life of the “lowered” castes, and provide illuminating detail of the techniques of production…. Ilaiah’s attack on Brahmanism is sharp and pointed, in some spots very convincing…. This is a challenging and useful book."Dharma Deepika

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

'Working with Generation Y & Generation Z'- engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice

Cover image for latest issue of {{Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies}}The younger workforce, Generation Z and Generation Y, is driven by technology, as an outcome they believe in multitasking and approaching projects in different creative vantage ideas; and likes to experiment and discover new styles and solutions to problems and difficulties as they are driven by their inner need for a sense of purpose, this approach of mavericks is what is required for new businesses. Generation Z has been attracted by the companies that embrace advanced technology and that have created new styles of working internationally, as a result this generation is making a substantial move away from the old and conventional forms of jobs, as they are very entrepreneurial and they believe in engaging in multiple jobs with various career paths. As mentioned earlier, India has roughly 65 per cent of its population below the age of 25 which makes a huge population of India as generation Z category. Sixty-nine million of them reside in urban areas. These young people have a very different childhood to the one their parents experienced. Generation Z is ambitious and competitive in nature. Today, Indian companies have realized the importance of having the intrapreneurial culture and generation Z will be the next intrapreneurs for the corporates and those companies who could channelize them well will be at a competitive advantage. Focusing on the intrapreneurial culture in India organizations; this article from the Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Emerging Economies explores the challenges faced by the Indian organization while working with generation Z intrapreneurs.

The article explicates that Indian organizations have started engaging generation Z intrapreneurs, but they face challenges while engaging them. It has been observed that leaders and managers often find generation Y and generation Z difficult to manage; one of the reasons being the difference in attitude of the younger generation as instead of traditional monetary incentives, they value passion, purpose, flexibility, transparency, collaboration, trust and autonomy. The organizations that desire to be entrepreneurial, need to learn how to engage, inspire, incentivize and motivate this younger generation intrapreneurs; as this may require organizations to re-think and make changes in the existing organizational structures.

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Friday, 17 November 2017

How do rigid gender roles in labour outcomes of rural environment impact women?

Work activities of women and men in rural areas primarily revolve around land and related resources. In addition to these activities, every household has the minimum amount of housework for carrying on its day-to-day activities. The household constitutes a basic unit of production in all such societies where agricultural production depends almost entirely on the use of family labour. The activities associated with agriculture are considered of prime importance while associated activities such as the management and care of livestock are considered of secondary importance since they are an additional source of income but are not the chief source of livelihood. Another area of work is household work, an activity where the labour of the individuals is not paid for, as it is performed for one’s own family.
It is quite often seen that in patriarchal societies, men are assigned those types of activities which have a direct exchange value and therefore the work of women is considered of little or no exchange value and is considered less important.
In the sex-based segmentation of labour, some activities are generally restricted to men and others to women. Agricultural activity is regarded as a man’s job and animal husbandry and housework as a woman’s jobs.
The activities performed by women on farm or in the household are generally not considered to be economically productive and are unpaid. 
A recently published article on Unequal Sharing of Domestic Work from the 'Indian Journal of Gender Studies' focusses on the permanence of traditional intra-household gender disparities in the distribution of work within the household. These values are transferred to the next generation as young girls are expected to help their mothers in carrying out domestic duties and care work, while boys have no such obligation.

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Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Love is Love, then why is it “CRIMINAL LOVE?”

Sunday, November 12, 2017: Grey of the capital splashed off when the capital got its rainbow on at the Delhi’s 10th Queer Pride Parade. Over 5000 people in high spirits marched with colour and enthusiasm carrying posters, banners and placards, creating space for members of all communities to express love for each other, without the fear of being judged or being put behind the bars for simply expressing themselves.
In the quest for a change in attitude of the society towards queer, supporters from different walks of life marched to express the “Right to Live with Dignity”. Read the news here.

A much timely addition to the subject of Queer theory and Queer Politics in India is a recent publication by SAGE, ‘Criminal Love?’ by R. Raj Rao. The book is a courageous work that does not shy away from this contested territory and challenges the ideas of what it might mean to be a queer.

Criminal Love? takes up the challenge of studying the wide gamut of lived reality of the Indian queer, against the backdrop of a set of theories. The queer theory still largely comes to us from the West. We have yet to develop an indigenous queer theory of our own in India. Written by a man who has been openly gay for the last 40 years, this book picks up issues, concepts, and theories within the realm of queer studies and dissects them against the day-to-day experiences of Indian queers. Digging deep into his own experiences and those of the people with whom he has come into contact, Rao highlights the sites of transgression within a seemingly monosexual society.
Criminalised love today demands anti-discrimination legislation and social accountability for discrimination based on gender, class, caste, religion, ability, race, tribe, sexual orientation, and ethnicity and the revocation of Section 377, known as the anti-sodomy law introduced by the British, which criminalizes homosexuality.
A glaring and welcome change over the years is the Supreme Court making a favourable noise through its Right to Privacy judgment and the pride being celebrated with huge masses turning up with lesser number of people wearing masks to protect their identities.

To delve more into various aspects of the struggle of being queer in a repressive atmosphere, grab your copy of the book today.