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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.

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
The policing of nineteenth-century Bengal and Bihar
Peter Robb

other such instruments rather than being a force for the detection and reduction of crime. Its evolution reflected these purposes. Hence we begin from a more general appreciation of the problem of ‘ordering’ a predominantly rural India, to identify the place occupied by the police in the policies of the state, and the extent to which policing was not merely a matter for the police. These questions in

in Policing the empire
Open Access (free)
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and Development
Laura Davidson

. Soap and hand-sanitisers are important weapons against COVID-19, yet 33 per cent of those in rural India have no access to soap after toilet use, and even in urban areas almost 14 per cent of the population does not have both bathroom and toilet within the household premises ( Government of India, National Sample Survey Office, 2018 : 38). Lingam and Sapkal (2020 : 177) identified poverty as a key pandemic mortality factor spanning three differentials: exposure

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Abstract only
Government, Authority and Control, 1830–1940

From the Victorian period to the present, images of the policeman have played a prominent role in the literature of empire, shaping popular perceptions of colonial policing. This book covers and compares the different ways and means that were employed in policing policies from 1830 to 1940. Countries covered range from Ireland, Australia, Africa and India to New Zealand and the Caribbean. As patterns of authority, of accountability and of consent, control and coercion evolved in each colony the general trend was towards a greater concentration of police time upon crime. The most important aspect of imperial linkage in colonial policing was the movement of personnel from one colony to another. To evaluate the precise role of the 'Irish model' in colonial police forces is at present probably beyond the powers of any one scholar. Policing in Queensland played a vital role in the construction of the colonial social order. In 1886 the constabulary was split by legislation into the New Zealand Police Force and the standing army or Permanent Militia. The nature of the British influence in the Klondike gold rush may be seen both in the policy of the government and in the actions of the men sent to enforce it. The book also overviews the role of policing in guarding the Gold Coast, police support in 1954 Sudan, Orange River Colony, Colonial Mombasa and Kenya, as well as and nineteenth-century rural India.

Jonathan Pattenden

; rehabilitation of child labourers; collecting electricity bills; delivery of drinking water; yoga classes. Source: fieldwork data. 136     Labour, state and society in rural India to NGOs). The only significant change concerned the scale of SHG loans (discussed below). The chapter’s focus, as in the book as a whole, is on how power and resources can be redistributed towards classes of labour. The chapter’s central argument is that the neoliberalisation of civil society crowds out and undermines pro-labouring class organisation. The forms taken by civil society vary according

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Jonathan Pattenden

accumulation and labouring class reproduction to form the broader patterns of class relations at a local level with which ‘everyday’ relations at the level of production are co-constituted. This chapter’s analysis of control within the production process and its immediate ‘local’ contexts sheds some light not only on differences in material conditions, but also on how poverty reduction 63 64     Labour, state and society in rural India programmes play out in particular places in practice (see Chapters 5 and 6), and how organisations of the labouring class might be formed

in Labour, state and society in rural India
Modernity and malevolence in Tribal India
Andrew Willford

‘ideological holism’ (Bailey 1991 ), I argue that a growing archive of local ideas about cultural loss and ‘outside’ influences partially obscures underlying pathologies of power within rural India, and the forces that divide and defer the tribal from non-tribal. ‘Ideas and their use’: witches and the outside Bailey produced numerous important contributions

in The anthropology of power, agency, and morality
Abstract only
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
Abstract only
Jonathan Pattenden

(CSOs) in ‘participatory’ decision-making processes, while maintaining the fundamentals of the neoliberal policy agenda (Ruckert 2006). Decentralised forms of government, meanwhile, induced ‘people to experience tightly controlled forms of pro-market activity as empowerment’, while exerting pressure on the state to deliver resources efficiently and encouraging ‘beneficiaries’ to contribute to the costs of such services (Cammack 1 2     Labour, state and society in rural India 2003:1). The proliferation of local institutions was seen as helping to generate ‘political

in Labour, state and society in rural India