Asha Abeyasekera

Asha Abeyasekera
Royal Holloway, University of London | RHUL

Doctor of Philosophy
​Urban Studies Foundation International Fellow Department of Geography Royal Holloway, University of London

About

26
Publications
7,863
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120
Citations
Citations since 2016
16 Research Items
108 Citations
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Introduction
My scholarship focuses on the everyday practices of intimacy and care, and the gendered dimensions of home (un)making. My research examines the reproduction of social difference and inequalities within the intimate institutions of marriage, kinship, home, and family, and explores the creative strategies women use to survive, resist, and flourish even as they claim ethical lives.

Publications

Publications (26)
Book
Full-text available
https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/making-the-right-choice/9781978810303 Making the Right Choice unravels the entangled relationship between marriage, morality, and the desire for modernity as it plays out in the context of middle-class status concerns and aspirations for upward social mobility within the Sinhala-Buddhist community in urban Sr...
Article
In March 2020, urban middle-class mothers found themselves without the reproductive labor of domestic workers. Schedules and routines proved indispensable mechanisms through which they organized their family’s lives and coped with life at home.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study was conducted to examine the living and working conditions of domestic workers and assess the current legal and policy gaps in Sri Lanka with a view to assisting the government of Sri Lanka to ratify the ILO’s Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention (No. 189).
Chapter
Full-text available
Student activism has played a defining role in promoting social justice and political transformation across the world. An upsurge of protests against the corporatisation of higher education characterises the contemporary moment. Concurrently, political activism of university youth is read as a means of ‘passing time’ in the absence of stable salari...
Article
Drawing from a larger study of non fatal suicidal behavior in Sri Lanka, we examine the narratives of two young women and their mothers following the daughter’s suicide-like act. These accounts offer insights into how the moral person is constructed in Sri Lanka and, particularly, what it means to be a good daughter and a good woman in Sri Lanka. W...
Article
Full-text available
In discussions of urban infrastructure and land, neoliberalism is often presented as a hegemonic economic model with, seemingly, identical outcomes across a range of historical and political circumstances. For instance, in large cities of the Global South, a combination of speculative capitalism, and increased privatisation in the provision of publ...
Article
Full-text available
In South Asia, shame is valued as a virtue and a means of social control, particularly for women. For Sri Lankan women, shame (læjja-baya) denotes modesty, purity, innocence, and self-effacement. For unmarried girls, sexual improprieties—rumoured or real—threaten loss of respectability and jeopardise a girl’s marriageability and her family’s honour...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research study was undertaken with the overall objective of analyzing the gender responsiveness of Sri Lanka’s Police service. The discourse on gender equality has long established that women and men have distinct needs in society. Women’s needs often remain unmet because what may seem like gender-blind or gender-neutral mechanisms and process...
Technical Report
Full-text available
An initial state response to the problem of violence against women and children in Sri Lanka was the establishment of the Children and Women’s Bureau in 1978, in Colombo, in charge of a woman sub inspector. This initiative was a significant step that led to the setting up of dedicated police units throughout the country in the years that followed....
Chapter
Full-text available
This case study raises critical questions about the ethics of using friendship in ethnographic fieldwork. It draws from the author’s experience of relying on friendships when researching her own community to reflect on whether relationships forged in the field are inherently instrumental in nature and compromises friendships that predate fieldwork....
Article
Full-text available
Marriage is a cultural imperative in Sri Lanka and is constructed as the principal source of personal fulfilment for women. This paper critically examines through two case studies – a never-married woman and a woman in a “failed” marriage – how women from older generations narrate their life histories using culturally coherent repertoires. By decon...
Article
Full-text available
The shift to companionate marriage in South Asia and elsewhere is widely read as a move from ‘tradition’ to ‘modernity’ resulting in an expansion of individual agency, especially for women. This paper critically examines the narratives of urban middle-class women in Sri Lanka spanning three generations to illustrate that rather than indicating a ra...
Article
Full-text available
Thisarticle critically examines the Family Background Report Circular (2013) and analyses its implications as a policy document from a feminist perspective. The paper then draws from a research study conducted in four districts to ascertain the response to the policy as well understand impact of the implementation of the policy on the lives of migr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2013 and 2014 the Government translated the protective measures of the National Policy to adopting two Circulars that mandated a compulsory Family Background Report be completed by all women seeking overseas migrant employment in the domestic sector. The Family Background Report aimed at ensuring informed decision making focusing primarily on th...
Book
Human development may encompass social, cultural and spiritual facets as well as economic improvement, and development organizations are beginning to recognize this fact. But building into programming a wider understanding of development throws up a number of questions: how do our organizations define wellbeing and quality of life? What do target c...
Article
Full-text available
In Sri Lanka, the impetus for gender equity came from a commitment to a liberal-democratic philosophy that led to a better representation of girls and women in general and University education. With the exception of Engineering disciplines, young women perform as well or better than their male peers in higher education. However, this quantitative c...
Thesis
Undergraduate Honors Paper--Mount Holyoke College, 1998. Dept. of English. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 103-105).

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