A Methodology to Track Economic Mobility of Castes in South Indian Village, Circa 1866-2001
Keywords:Methodology, Caste Mobility, Economic Mobility, Village Studies.
AbstractEven though there is a good theoretical discourse on issues of economic mobility and stratification, there are very few empirical studies in the Indian context that gave due recognition to caste in their analyses. The studies that analysed stratification from the perspective of caste, either considered very short period or used 'recall method' mostly confining to survey data. While taking cognisance of intellectual rigour of these studies, we have evolved a 'methodology' using data sources that are least explored, viz., Survey and Settlement Registers and land transactions' data from the Sub-Registrar's office. In this methodology, the concept of surname ('Intiperu' in Telugu) was used to identify all landowners for their castes which paved way to carry out a robust empirical analysis on issues of economic mobility and stratification at a disaggregate level of castes and families. The surname can sometimes be a misnomer. Some surnames exist across diff erent castes. Such limitations were overcome through a very rigorous village study and oral histories of the village. When we applied this methodology in the case of a South Indian village in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, onto mapping or surjection is evident between surnames and castes with very few exceptions.
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