Being Janana focuses on same-sex desiring male-bodied subjects in Lucknow, India, and explores how they make meaning in the marginalization of their desire through language performativity.

Along with their desire for other men, jananas maintain ostensibly heteronormatively and culturally defined masculine positions. This book argues for an intersectional approach to understanding janana life worlds and situates janana subjectivity in dialogue with social, cultural, linguistic, and legal happenings. In engaging with the full complexity of janana identities and experience, Ila Nagar calls for a reassessment of gender categories and a new understanding of power and sexuality amidst emerging Indian modernities.

Derived from ethnographic research conducted over a period of twelve years, this book also reflects on the interaction between social actors and researchers, and critically examines the use of ethnography as a method in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. It will be of interest to scholars from Anthropology, Asian Studies, Gender & Sexuality Studies, and Linguistics.

chapter 1|32 pages


Entering the world of jananas

chapter 2|35 pages

Janana stories

Living as a janana

chapter 3|27 pages

Jananas and hijras

perpetual conflict and attraction

chapter 4|30 pages

The janana community of practice

How the janana world works

chapter 6|30 pages

To feel like a woman

Violence and the formation of the janana subject

chapter 7|14 pages

Janana subalterns

chapter |2 pages