Inside Outside: Two Views of Social Change in Rural India

Inside Outside: Two Views of Social Change in Rural India

By: B. S. Baviskar (author), D. W. Attwood (author)Hardback

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Poverty in rural India: Is this a permanent condition? Are villagers immobilized by a rigid caste system, limited resources and economic exploitation? This book is about villagers who have done remarkable things with their lives - people who have broken the constraints of poverty and inequality to become innovative and mobile. It is written partly by one villager who found a career doing research on social change. Inside - Outside narrates stories of grassroots change and innovation. These stories are discussed from the combined view of an insider (Baviskar), who grew up in a village in western India, and an outsider (Attwood), who came to study social change in the same region. Telling life stories from people who taught and surprised them, they challenge common stereotypes about Indian villagers - stereotypes of passivity, fatalism, and stagnation. Baviskar's life and experience of change in his home village exemplify grassroots initiative and innovation. He was born as the son of an impoverished farmer in a drought-stricken village in western Maharashtra. Ability, hard work, and some dramatic twists of fate enabled him to attend college and then complete a doctorate in India's premier sociology department. In contrast to Baviskar, Attwood is a complete outsider, having grown up in a suburb near Chicago, in the US heartland. He stumbled into anthropology and spent several years in India, doing fieldwork in the region where Baviskar grew up. The two met in 1969; they became friends and began four decades of collaborative research. Here they tell the stories of villagers who changed their own lives and who also, in many cases, changed the lives of others. These stories describe rapid innovation and institution-building in the countryside, challenging an array of common stereotypes about village life in India. Seeking explanations for change, it helps to look at village life from many angles. Inside and outside views are complementary and provide a more complete picture.

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About Author

B S Baviskar was born in 1930 and grew up in Pilkhod village, Jalgaon District, Maharashtra. His father was a small farmer. After five years of primary school in Pilkhod, he attended high school in Chalisgaon, the nearest market town. He went on to complete a BA at Fergusson College in Pune and an MA in economics at the Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. He then joined the new Department of Sociology, where he studied under M.N. Srinivas and M.S.A. Rao, two giants in the field. For his PhD research, he pioneered the study of cooperatives in India. While many of his peers focused on village studies, he recognized the importance of institutions that were creating new linkages between local, regional, and national politics. He wrote about cooperative sugar factories, whose activities spanned dozens of villages, and also studied electoral politics involving competition for seats in the state assembly. Thus he also helped pioneer ethnographic research on politics at multiple interlocking levels. Following his initial field research, Baviskar was appointed to teach in the department where he was trained, eventually becoming a professor and head of the Department of Sociology. He was elected president of the Indian Sociological Society and at various times held visiting appointments in Britain, the Netherlands, Egypt, and Canada. He was invited to study rural development in Britain by the Arkleton Trust and was the first Indian director of the International Rural Network. In 2000, after retiring from the university, he became a senior fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences (New Delhi), where he continued working until his death. Baviskar and Attwood were friends and then research collaborators for more than forty years. They organized binational and multi-national team research projects on cooperatives and published the results in Who Shares? Cooperatives and Rural Development (1988) and Finding the Middle Path: The Political Economy of Cooperation in Rural India (1995). Baviskar also collaborated with others, including his distinguished colleagues, A.M. Shah and E.A. Ramaswamy. Together they edited a five-volume collection of papers in honour of M.N. Srinivas: Social Structure and Change (1996-98). With his student, Shanti George, he studied dairy cooperatives in Gujarat and raised questions about Operation Flood, India's giant dairy development scheme. With George Mathew, director of the Institute of Social Sciences, he organized a team research project on the seventy-third constitutional amendment, published as Inclusion and Exclusion in Local Governance (2009). With Tulsi Patel he co-edited Understanding Indian Society (2010) in honour of A.M. Shah. He was also the series editor of Themes in Indian Sociology in seven volumes (2003-05). Baviskar passed away in April 2013. He is survived by his wife, three children, three grandchildren, a sister, three brothers, and a large extended family. D W Attwood is an emeritus professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. Since retiring from McGill, Attwood has worked full time on this book. Now he is assembling a portfolio of photographs of people in Malegaon and Supe villages and exploring some over--looked aspects of the history of the Bombay Deccan during the late colonial period. He was born in 1943 and raised in the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb with good public schools (meaning tax-funded schools open to all village children). School attendance was mandatory by state law. Attwood then attended Deep Springs, a small, private junior college in eastern California and completed his BA at the University of California, Berkeley, where he stumbled into anthropology. He did a year of MA course at the University of Chicago but then seized an opportunity to visit India in a programme run by the United States Educational Foundation in India. Afterwards, he resumed training in anthropology at McGill University, where he completed his PhD in 1974. That same year, he was appointed to teach at McGill, eventually becoming a full professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology. Attwood has spent nearly five years, on and off, living and doing research in India. He first met Baviskar in 1969, when the former was starting field research and the latter was writing his doctoral thesis. Attwood's research focused on two villages in Maharashtra, one with canal irrigation and one without. Inquiring into villagers' personal histories led him to delve into family histories which led in turn to ethnohistorical and archival research on socio-economic change in the Nira Valley from about 1885 to 1985. His results were published in leading journals of anthropology and development studies. He rounded off this series of publications with Raising Cane: The Political Economy of Sugar in Western India (1992). Meanwhile, he collaborated with Baviskar at organizing team re--search projects on cooperatives. The results were published as Who Shares? Cooperatives and Rural Development (1988) and Finding the Middle Path: The Political Economy of Cooperation in Rural India (1995). As well, they co-authored a number of journal articles on related topics. Attwood also collaborated with other colleagues, co-editing Power and Poverty: Development and Development Projects in the Third World with T.C. Bruneau and J.G. Galaty (1988), and City, Countryside and Society in Maharashtra with M. Israel and N.K. Wagle (1988), as well as Cooperative Values in a Changing World with Jill Hanley (1996).


Preface Introduction I: PILKHOD AND BEYOND Inside the Family (Pilkhod) Inside the Village (Pilkhod) High School (Chalisgaon) College and University (Pune and Delhi) II: OAK PARK AND BEYOND Early Days (Oak Park) Attwoods and Allied Families (USA) Leaving Home (Deep Springs, Berkeley, Chicago) Outsider in India (Bichpuri) III: INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN Marriage Out (Chalisgaon, Pune, Delhi) Discovering Sociology (Delhi) Fieldwork Back Home (Kopargaon Sugar Factory) IV: FROM OUTSIDE IN How I Returned to India (Pune District) I Was Misinformed (Malegaon Village) Villagers as Agents of History (Nira Valley) V: INSIDE AND OUT Outsider in Sanjaya Village (Gujarat) Outside and Inside the Family (Pilkhod) VI: THOUGHTS ON COOPERATION, INEQUALITY, AND POINTS OF VIEW Cooperation and Controversy Villager Sociology, Economic Inequality, and Poverty Caste Barriers to Initiative and Innovation Points of View Glossary Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 04/02/2014
  • ISBN13: 9788132113508
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 472
  • ID: 9788132113508
  • weight: 635
  • ISBN10: 8132113500

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