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Jonathan Pattenden

6 Social policy and class relations: the case of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) is a universal rights-based programme, and as such it is argued here that it provides possibilities for classes of labour to challenge existing distributions of power within local government institutions (LGIs), and even to modify class relations in their favour. In operation since 2006, NREGS guarantees 100 days of employment on government-funded works for every household in rural India. It also entitles those

in Labour, state and society in rural India
A class-relational approach

Intended for researchers, students, policymakers and practitioners, this book draws on detailed longitudinal fieldwork in rural south India to analyse the conditions of the rural poor and their patterns of change. Focusing on the three interrelated arenas of production, state, and civil society, it argues for a class-relational approach focused on forms of exploitation, domination and accumulation. The book focuses on class relations, how they are mediated by state institutions and civil society organisations, and how they vary within the countryside, when rural-based labour migrates to the city, and according to patterns of accumulation, caste dynamics, and villages’ levels of irrigation and degrees of remoteness. More specifically it analyses class relations in the agriculture and construction sectors, and among local government institutions, social movements, community-based organisations and NGOs. It shows how the dominant class reproduces its control over labour by shaping the activities of increasingly prominent local government institutions, and by exerting influence over the mass of new community-based organisations whose formation has been fostered by neoliberal policy. The book is centrally concerned with countervailing moves to improve the position of classes of labour. Increasingly informalised and segmented across multiple occupations in multiple locations, India’s ‘classes of labour’ are far from passive in the face of ongoing processes of exploitation and domination. Forms of labouring class organisation are often small-scale and tend to be oriented around the state and social policy. Despite their limitations, the book argues that such forms of contestation of government policy currently play a significant role in strategies for redistributing power and resources towards the labouring class, and suggests that they can help to clear the way for more broad-based and fundamental social change.

This book examines the payment systems operating in British hospitals before the National Health Service (NHS). An overview of the British situation is given, locating the hospitals within both the domestic social and political context, before taking a wider international view. The book sets up the city of Bristol as a case study to explore the operation and meaning of hospital payments on the ground. The foundation of Bristol's historic wealth, and consequent philanthropic dynamism, was trade. The historic prominence of philanthropic associations in Bristol was acknowledged in a Ministry of Health report on the city in the 1930s. The distinctions in payment served to reinforce the differential class relations at the core of philanthropy. The act of payment heightens and diminishes the significance of 1948 as a watershed in the history of British healthcare. The book places the hospitals firmly within the local networks of care, charity and public services, shaped by the economics and politics of a wealthy southern city. It reflects the distinction drawn between and separation of working-class and middle-class patients as a defining characteristic of the system that emerged over the early twentieth century. The rhetorical and political strategies adopted by advocates of private provision were based on the premise that middle-class patients needed to be brought in to a revised notion of the sick poor. The book examines why the voluntary sector and wider mixed economies of healthcare, welfare and public services should be so well developed in Bristol.

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Jonathan Pattenden

9 Conclusion: poverty and class This book has argued for a class-relational approach to labour, state and society in rural India. In doing so it has sought to contribute to ‘analysis of the social conditions of classes of labour in global capitalism, and the challenges their diverse forms of fragmentation present’ (Bernstein 2006:457). In contrast to ‘residual’ and some ‘semi-relational’ approaches to poverty, it has argued that analysis of class relations is central to understanding the conditions of classes of labour and the possibilities for pro

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

focuses primarily on three particular village-level associations, and poses three central questions. First, it seeks to understand why the organisation’s strength varied across the different villages. This raises issues that have been discussed throughout the book. Variations in village-level class relations and differences in degrees of labouring class dependence on its village’s dominant class, the ways in which class relations are mediated by local government institutions (LGIs), and the dynamics within the group and the social movement as a whole all loom large in

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

3 Labour, state and civil society in rural India The fieldwork-based chapters of this book explore three co-constitutive aspects of class relations in rural India: those in and around sites of production, and their mediation by both the state and different types of civil society organisations (CSOs). The purpose of this chapter is to set the scene for what follows by drawing out key trends and debates from the broader India literature. It proceeds in four parts. The first uses government datasets to flesh out a number of points that have already been made in

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Abstract only
Jonathan Pattenden

identity inflected by other forms of difference such as gender and caste. In other words, although it emphasises the process of exploitation, its engagement with the diverse concrete forms of class relations reflects an open-ended and dialectical approach rather than a linear, teleological one (Banaji 2010; Bernstein 2006). The book’s class-relational approach to labour, state and society will be expanded upon in the next chapter. In the remainder of this introductory chapter, the book’s argument is outlined, along with the levels and trajectories of poverty in India and

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Matthew Kidd

’. 41 For those who subscribed to the labourist view of class relations, there was no contradiction between organising on a class basis and rejecting the notion of a class war. This non-adversarial view of class relations survived the intense and often-violent industrial unrest that engulfed many parts of Britain between 1910 and 1914. The strike wave encouraged a minority of trade unionists to embrace a more oppositional notion of class relations, which some, including workers in Liverpool and the South Wales coalfields, expressed in revolutionary terms. 42 By

in The renewal of radicalism
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Colin Gardner

’s primordial space, proving the scene to be a condensed microcosm of the film as a whole. This sequence is a perfect example of Losey’s expressive genius with discordant space as an objective correlative of shifting identities and class relations. As Roger Greenspun noted in relation to Secret Cere mony , ‘among filmmakers Losey is the greatest poet of mirrors, greater even than Cocteau, because he knows they

in Joseph Losey
Jonathan Pattenden

‘structural sources of exploitation and inequality inherent in all capitalist production petty and grand, informal and formal’) and in terms of the various axes of inequality embedded within it. Class relations may be universal ‘determinations’ of social practices in capitalism, but they are far from exclusive since they ‘intersect and combine with’ other ‘sources of inequality and oppression’, such as gender, caste, race and ethnicity (Bernstein 2007:7, 2010:115).1 Such a multi-faceted view of class undermines accusations that a focus on class crowds out other forms of

in Labour, state and society in rural India