Anti/Aunty as Critical Method: From Gendered Resistance to Soft Grace

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This article chronicles the author’s transformation from an anti-aunty Tamil South Asian socialisation to a more critical acceptance of aunty–ness as a queer ethnographer. Committing to reflexive ethnographic methods, I contemplate on the figure of the ‘invisible aunty’ as a way of disrupting the field while also being self-serving to one’s queer body and psyche. Particularly, in drawing from the nourishing strain of critical aunty dialogue, especially around discourse and subversion, I share how my own research and personal identities have coalesced, allowing for a radical reimagination of once-distant terms and concepts. This return to past discomfort and resistance with soft grace and new ability, I argue, is at the core of the critical aunty—or anti/aunty—method.




Ballakrishnen, S. S. (2023). Anti/Aunty as Critical Method: From Gendered Resistance to Soft Grace. South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies, 46(1), 135–151.

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