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Title: Women's work and rural transformation in India : a study from Gujarat
Author: Kothari, Uma
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1991
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This thesis is based on fieldwork carried out in 1986-1988 in Sera, a village in south Gujarat, India. The research considers women's work and focuses on differentiation; that is, which women carry out which tasks. This is a rural area which has recently undergone substantial agricultural change with a shift from cotton to sugar cane production. It is characterised by high in-migration of seasonal labourers and out-migration of women at the time of marriage and of upper caste members migrating abroad. In order to examine women's work and position within this context, a framework has been constructed which distinguishes between forms of work and between women from different socio-economic positions. This theoretical classification, utilised empirically, is based on distinctions between women and between tasks. As far as tasks are concerned, divisions are made between those which are paid and unpaid and those which are agricultural and domestic. In addition, differences are made between women from households of different caste and class position, the organisation and structure of their household and life-cycle changes of individual women. Women from the Patidar landholding caste are seen to face very different experiences from those of the predominantly landless Halpati caste. Beyond the study of these two polarised groups, the thesis further considers class distinctions within each caste in order to understand the rationale behind household strategies in their allocation of labour. Furthermore, the work that women are required to perform and their relationship with other members of their household are also seen as partly determined by the stage in a woman's life-cycle and the composition of her household. When looking at the kinds of work undertaken by different categories of women, a variety of forms of control emerge. Thus, the nature of individual women's involvement in work activities condition and are conditioned by their position within their households and outside the home. The sources of their oppression and the extent to which women have control over their own lives is examined through their work activities. The theoretical framework and empiricial data presented in this thesis are brought together to show how the different conditions of subordination experienced by Patidar and Halpati women are constructed and what implications they have on their present and future position.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available