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Public sector employment, class mobility, and differentiation in a tribal coal mining village in India

Noy, Itay (2020) Public sector employment, class mobility, and differentiation in a tribal coal mining village in India. Contemporary South Asia, 28 (3). 374 - 391. ISSN 0958-4935

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09584935.2020.1801579


India's adivasi, or tribal, communities have most often been depicted as homogeneous and egalitarian, at least compared to the entrenched social hierarchies that characterise rural caste society. This article draws on fieldwork in a mining-affected adivasi village in Jharkhand, eastern India, to consider how compensatory public sector employment for mining-induced land dispossession has contributed to new processes of stratification within adivasi society. On the one hand, compensatory employment allowed those who attained it to pursue increasingly common middle-class aspirations, and a considerable degree of class mobility. But on the other hand, it fostered new, enhanced forms of intra-adivasi differentiation – not only in terms of income but also consumption and lifestyle, education and children's life chances, and household and gender dynamics. New internal disparities, in turn, have acted to erode pre-existing elements of adivasi society that revolve around values of egalitarianism.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD8682 Industrial Relations - India
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2020 09:21
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 23:42

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