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Changing Identity of Rural India

Changing Identity of Rural India

A Socio-Historic Analysis

Edited by Elisabetta Basile & Ishita Mukhopadhyay

The book explores the pattern of rural development in contemporary India from a multidisciplinary and historical perspective. The general issue raised in the book refers to the assessment of the nature and working of contemporary Indian rural economy.

PDF, 326 Pages


January 2009

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About This Book

The book explores the pattern of rural development in contemporary India from a multidisciplinary and historical perspective. The essays overcome the limits of disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive analysis of the processes of change and growth at work in the Indian countryside and to review the social and cultural dynamics that have led to the contemporary situation. Providing an analysis of the economic, political and social changes experienced in rural India, they examine the interactions between actors and institutions at different levels. Some contributions focus on the impact of state policies on rural development and on the rationale of capitalistic expansion in the Indian countryside, while others analyse how the changes are promoted, adopted and resisted at the local level.

The general issue raised in the book refers to the assessment of the nature and working of contemporary Indian rural economy. In order to analyse the complexity of the rural economy and the forms it takes in different Indian contexts, this issue has been deconstructed considering, in turn, the process of rural change, the impact of rural growth on working and living conditions, and finally the categories of the inhabitants of rural areas and the construction of their identities in colonial and post-colonial rural India.


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Author Information

Elisabetta Basile is Professor of Development Studies at the University of Rome, La Sapienza.

Ishita Mukhopadhyay is part of the faculty in the Department of Economics, University of Calcutta. She specializes in economic methodology, labour economics, gender and development economics.


Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: Capital and Labour Transformations in Shaping Rural Development in India; PART 1: INDIAN RURAL TRANSFORMATIONS; Identifying Livelihoods in Rural India; The Institutional Embeddedness of Indian Rural Capitalism; PART 2: INEQUALITY IN RURAL INDIA; Social Capital and Poverty Reduction Strategies: The Case of Rural India; An Overview of Indian Microfinance; Income-based Estimates vs Consumption-based Estimates of Poverty: Evidence from Rural Tamil Nadu after Liberalization; Occupational Diversification of the Rural Workers: Some Results from Field Surveys in West Bengal; Literacy and Externalities in Human Development; PART 3: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND IDENTITIES; The Social Context of Politics in Rural West Bengal (1947–92); Agrarian Expansion under Colonial Rule and its Impact on a Tribal Economy; Acting on Institutions to Preserve Agricultural Biodiversity: The Syngenta Controversy in Chhattisgarh; The Conflicting Opinions of the Colonial Bureaucracy over the Paraiyans Right over ‘Waste’ in late 19th Century Tamil Nadu; Appendix 1: Maps of India; Appendix 2: Socio-Economic Indicators of Rural India

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