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Title: Lakshmi in the market place : traders and farmers in a north Indian market
Author: Tomar, Mahipal S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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This thesis examines the cultural and structural aspects of a North Indian wholesale market (mandi) at which agriculturalists sell their products, the marketing process, and the relationships between the buyers and sellers who use that market. The thesis is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 describes the aim of the thesis, and relevant theoretical perspectives, and suggests that comprehending Indian society requires the use of a context-specific approach. Chapter 2 presents a general picture of Muzaffarnagar District, with brief reference to its topology, history, and communication networks. Chapter 3 describes the ritual meanings of land, crop production and different models of exchange from the point of view of agriculturalists who today sell their crops in the market. Chapter 4 presents a general picture of the market organization of Muzaffarnagar District, a description of the mandi, the relationship between state and mandi and discusses the relationships and backgrounds of three groups--traders, business clerks, and labourers--who work in the mandi. Chapter 5 is concerned with the ritual dimension of traders' commercial activities. I describe four main analytically distinct sets of beliefs and rituals which are concerned with the moral justifications of commercial activities, ensure success and profit, the prediction of profit and loss and the conversion of inauspicious profit into auspicious profit. The distinctive beliefs and ritual practices and distinctive moral perspectives of the traders clarify the importance of incorporating an awareness of contextually and multiple value systems within a culture in sociological analysis. Chapter 6 deals with the marketing process in the mandi, the manner in which traders initiate and maintain long-term relationships with their clients, their images of each other and their dififfering perspectives regarding market exchange, profit, wealth, prestige, and so on. I also demonstrate that exchange in the mandi is significantly influenced by local cultural meanings that are not comprehensible in terms of a formalist model of economic behaviour. In the final chapter, the conclusion is drawn that actors in India not only adopt varying strategies and moral perspectives to adjust to many different types of situations, but also that theses strategies are context specific.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available