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Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars

Tilche, Alice (2016) Migration, bachelorhood and discontent among the Patidars. Economic and Political Weekly, 51 (26-27). pp. 17-24. ISSN 0012-9976

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Juxtaposing data collected in the 1950s with data from 2013, this article describes some of the consequences of a crisis of agriculture in India, as a crisis of values and aspirations. Among a relatively prosperous Patidar community in western India, agriculture continues to be economically remunerative while farmers are considered poor. Instead, the ability to secure a job away from the land, to move out of the village and possibly overseas have come to constitute new markers of status in a traditionally competitive society. The article departs from common representations of the caste as an upwardly mobile and successful group, and focuses instead on the discontent and on those who try to achieve the new values of the caste but fail. As a consequence of failure it shows how Patidars recur to what from an outsider’s point of view may seem paradoxical: in order to ‘move up’ and participate in the culture and economy of the caste, they have to ‘move down’. In this respect, the article also contributes to understanding the unevenness of India’s growth and the contrary trends that both work to strengthen and weaken caste identity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Economic & Political Weekly
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:23

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