Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Changing contours of sociality : youth, education, and generational relations in rural Gujarat, India
Author: Patel, Viresh
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 8244
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis draws on eleven months of ethnographic fieldwork to examine the everyday lives of young people aged between 16 and 30 years in rural Gujarat, India. It is shaped around four standalone articles that examine the spatial aspects of young men and women's secondary and higher education, and employment strategies. Taken both individually and collectively, the articles employ a conceptual framework of relationality in order to critically examine the complexity of young people's everyday lives. Relationality crosses spatial scales, from the individual body though to intersecting with processes of globalization. My analysis interrogates these scalar connections within and across different spaces, and the ways in which these spaces produce, reinforce, and transform relations of power, difference, and identity. In doing so it makes a series of critical contributions to ongoing debates about educated unemployed youth, geographies of friendship, youth transitions and imagined futures, and young people's mobilities. The thesis reflects on "the everyday" as a locus of social change and continuity, focusing on a first generation of formally educated young men and women from socioeconomically marginalized Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Caste, and Scheduled Tribe populations in rural Gujarat. Among this demographic, and in part a consequence of ongoing structural transformations to India's education sector, families are increasingly prolonging the formal education of their offspring as they pursue projects of social reform. In a context where education manifestly cannot guarantee a smooth transition into secure employment, a relational approach that places an emphasis on the quality and nature of connections and relationships provides a valuable framework for understanding young people's lives. My work forwards three broader arguments in relation to this emergent generation of educated young people from marginalized communities. Firstly, I argue for greater empirical and theoretical attention to young people's movements within and across space in order to fully theorize age as a social relation. Related to this my analysis supports the case for a multi-sited methodological approach in order to locate young people within the significant social relations that shape their everyday lives. Secondly, the scale of the everyday offers productive insights into how the political and economic changes associated with liberalization in contemporary India are affecting marginalized populations. Rather than focusing on processes occurring within educational institutions, the thesis takes a broader focus to examine how young people conceive of, value, and mobilize their formal education in their daily lives. Finally, attention to both inter- and intra-generational relations as significant and influential to young people's everyday lives foregrounds the breadth of social relations that bear down upon the social, cultural, and economic aspirations of youth in contemporary rural India.
Supervisor: McConnell, Fiona ; Sud, Nikita Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: India ; Education ; Employment ; Rural ; Gujarat ; Youth