Contents: 1. Introduction: India’s Villages in the 21st Century/Surinder S. Jodhka and Edward Simpson. Section I: Rural Economies and Agrarian Lives: 2. Agrarian Change and Social Mobility in Tamil Nadu/Goran Djurfeldt, Venkatesh Athreya, N. Jayakumar, Staffan Lindberg, A. Rajagopal, R. Vidyasagar. 3. Non-farm Diversification, Inequality and Mobility in Palanpur/Himanshu, Bhavna Joshi, Peter Lanjouw. 4. Structural Change in Bihar’s Rural Economy: Findings from a Longitudinal Study/Alakh N. Sharma and Gerry Rodgers. 5. Changes in Land Relations: The Political Economy of Land Reforms in a Kerala Village/Suma Scaria. Section II: Relational Frames and Power Dynamics: 6. Emergent Ruralities: Revisiting Village Life and Agrarian Change in Haryana/Surinder S. Jodhka. 7. Land, Labour, and Power: A Malwa Village (Madhya Pradesh), 1954–2012/Tommaso Sbriccoli. 8. Migration, Bachelorhood, and Discontent among the Patidars/Alice Tilche. 9. F.G. Bailey’s Bisipara Revisited/Tina Otten, Edward Simpson. Section III: Margins and Marginalities: 10. Political Exclusion and Subordination of Scheduled Castes in Rural Malwa, Punjab/Nicolas Martin. 11. Living Together Separately: Dalits in an Emergent Collectivity in a Rajasthan Village/Shashi Bhushan Singh. 12. Genealogies of the Urban Present: Historical Transformations in Boundary and Land Use in New Delhi’s Urban Villages/Sudev Sheth. 13. The Hermit Village of Malana: An Update on Community Democracy and the Management of Change in the Himalayas/Richard Axelby, Suzanne Rigaud. 14. Inequality in Rural Nagaland: Changing Structures and Mechanisms/Andreas Küchle. Section IV: In Lieu of Conclusion: Revisits and Revisions: 15. Village ‘Restudies’: Struggling with Ethnography as History and the History of Ethnography/Edward Simpson.
Post India’s economic liberalization in the 1990s, the village ceased to be central to ongoing sociological concerns. As a result, the period saw a marginalization of rural life and agrarian economy in the national imagination. However, in the 21st century as India transforms, so does its rural life.
This book revisits the realities of contemporary rural India, exploring the trajectories of change across regions such as those in rural economies, the relationship of villages to the outside world, and the dynamics of caste inequalities. The volume puts together 14 papers based on empirical studies carried out by sociologists, social anthropologists, and economists over the past 15 years to begin a holistic conversation on contemporary rural India which continues to be an important site of social, political, and economic activities.
India’s Villages in the 21st Century stresses diversity as a fundamental structure of Indian economy and society and illustrates the point by focusing on the economies, patterns of settlements, and organization of social and political life in India’s villages.