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Contenu archivé le 2024-06-18

The Underbelly of the Indian Boom: Adivasis and Dalits


In recent decades India has experienced exceptionally high economic growth rates, becoming one of the world’s fastest growing major economies. Yet, the redistribution of the fruits of economic growth – the trickle down effects of growth – have been negligible for vast swathes of India’s population, most of who live in the countryside. The demographics of the poor are starkly socially marked. Economists tell us that India’s dalit and adivasi communities, who account for almost 25% of the country’s population and were historically seen as ‘untouchable’ and ‘savage’, suffer from disproportionate levels of poverty, remaining worse off than other groups almost everywhere across the country. But econometric analysis is unable to tell us how and why this is the case. This project uses an innovative anthropological approach to understand the processes by which poverty is reproduced through agrarian relations and the shift from farm-based social and economic hierarchies towards new forms of power and exploitation off the farm which lead to the persistence of dalit and adivasi marginalisation across India. Informed by recent statistical research and policy shifts at the national and state levels, this project will craft a more critical and powerful alternative to poverty measurements by ethnographically exploring the relationship between political and economic transformations in rural-based dalit and adivasi lives, and the transformations taking place at the macro level. It thus establishes a new methodological field which structures ethnography in the framework of political economic theory and brings this combination to the centre of understandings of poverty. It will provide the first historically situated ethnographic studies which are comparative, not only in their regional distribution, but also in their underlying theoretical and methodological bases.

Appel à propositions

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Régime de financement

ERC-SG - ERC Starting Grant

Institution d’accueil

Contribution de l’UE
€ 1 282 213,02
Houghton Street 1
WC2A 2AE London

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London Inner London — West Westminster
Type d’activité
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Chercheur principal
Alpa Shah (Dr.)
Contact administratif
David Coombe (Mr.)
Coût total
Aucune donnée

Bénéficiaires (3)