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Title: Cardamom, class and change in a Limbu village in east Nepal
Author: Fitzpatrick, Ian C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 1517 065X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates the history of economic differentiation in a Limbu village in east Nepal. By examining three historically overlapping productive processes - subsistence agriculture, cash crop cardamom cultivation, and international migration - this thesis shows how each productive process has contributed in different ways to the acceleration of economic differentiation. In particular this thesis focuses on cardamom cultivation which first provided a means to transform significantly the lives of a large section of Limbu society. Introduced into the village by a local inhabitant in 1968, and thereafter spread throughout the whole Kabeli river valley and beyond, the cardamom plant has given many households access to considerable cash. This has enabled some households to purchase property in the plains, send their children to English-medium private schools, and send sons abroad for work. Households with little or no cardamom however, have fallen into increasing indebtedness, losing access to land and becoming increasingly dependent on wage labour for survival. The thesis also discusses international labour migration, which has more recently become another important and lucrative productive process for a certain proportion of the village. This has resulted in the rapid growth of a dispersed village in Jhapa in the plains, which has become a hub for international migrants as well as a symbol of the hopes and aspirations of villagers. This has brought about yet further economic differentiation between households that have been able to finance visas for work abroad, and those that continue to struggle day to day. Despite the increased integration of the village with a national and global market, the continued existence of Limbu language and cultural practises emphasizes the active role villagers have played in shaping their current condition.
Supervisor: Gellner, David ; Rival, Laura Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Anthropology ; Social anthropology ; Economic anthropology ; Nepal ; anthropology ; Nepal ; cardamom ; class ; Limbu ; rural inequality ; social change ; economic anthropology ; cash crop