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Notes on feminist dissonance

Niharika Pandit (Department of Gender Studies, LSE, London, UK)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 8 April 2022

Issue publication date: 3 January 2023




The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the potentiality of dissonance, especially as it engaged with feminist theory to raise familiar yet pertinent questions about undertaking research in contexts riven with political and epistemic violence. Drawing on the ethnographic fieldwork in the Kashmir valley, the author tracks the work dissonance does in shaping the research questions we ask, the methodological choices we make and its insistence on embodying a critical politics of location. The author then goes on to trace how dissonance variously emerged in the field and its theoretical implications in explaining the complex processes of military occupation in the Kashmir valley and how it takes hold in everyday life. That is, everyday sense of dissonance as explicated by interviewees brings to light the functions of military occupation but more importantly, it remains imbued with possibilities that contest, challenge and refuse to normalise militarised forms of state-led oppression. Overall, this paper makes the case for remaining with dissonance as a disruptive feminist possibility with epistemic and political potential.


This paper is based on ethnographically informed fieldwork located in feminist approaches to doing qualitative research.


The author argues for engaging with experiences of dissonance during research process as productive affects that can yield politically and epistemically useful forms of analysis that contest dominant forms of thinking and knowing.


This paper builds on existing feminist thinking on dissonance to contribute to peace research and the urgent need to centre locational politics and power inequalities as we contest dominant knowledge.



Pandit, N. (2023), "Notes on feminist dissonance", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 13-22.



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