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Title: Migration, development and social change in a 21st century North Indian hill village
Author: Daehnhardt, Madleina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 8977
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation analyses movements from and to a contemporary 21st century Indian multi-caste village in the Kumaun Himalayas, where movements have traditionally involved transhumance and border trade with western Tibet. With the closure of the Indo-Tibetan borders after the Indo-China war in 1962, the economy and livelihoods of the people of the region have fundamentally changed and movements now take place in the form of migration for work to the plains of India, both in the private sector and in government services. The dissertation is based on an ethnographic village study and explores all contemporary forms of movement visible in the village: out-migration; return-migration; and in-migration. It examines how these different types of movement tie in with the changing socio-economic lives of the villagers. This explorative study focuses on the patterns, causes and effects of migration on rural lives past and present, and on the multiple interrelated social changes, which are part of these migratory processes. The author uses mixed qualitative-quantitative methods, including a census survey of all 148 households, 45 semi-structured interviews, follow-up in-depth interviews, and innovative methods such as arts-based visual methods. The framework applied is interdisciplinary and multi-theoretical and contributes to the existing empirical body of literature on migration, development and change. The author chooses to employ the framework of the rural left behind when examining the lives of the wives and elderly parents of migrants. However, she argues that those in the village who are in the truest sense ‘left behind’ are not the family members of migrants, but the unemployed men who lack the capabilities to migrate for work and who reside in the village without any gainful economic activity. The thesis structure includes eight chapters in addition to the introduction and conclusion. Chapter 1 reviews the relevant literature on migration and development and is followed by the methodology chapter (chapter 2), a village background chapter (chapter 3) and a chapter covering the historical context (chapter 4). The structure of the main analysis (chapters 5-8) is along the lines of patterns and reasons for out-migration (chapter 6), out-migration types and their impact (chapter 6), return migration types, reasons and impact (chapter 7) and in-migration types, reasons and impact (chapter 8). Each analysis chapter ends with brief conclusions; these are expanded in the final conclusions (chapter 9).
Supervisor: Nolan, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Kumaon Himalayas ; Migration and Development ; patterns causes and effects of migration ; Indo-Tibetan trade of Bhotiya ; ST-SC social changes through migration ; contemporary village study