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Footloose Labour

Author

Listed:
  • Breman,Jan

Abstract

In a penetrating anthropological study of the working poor in India, Jan Breman examines the lives of those who, pushed out of the agrarian labour market, depend on casual work. Beginning his local-level research in two villages in south Gujarat, the author discusses the mobilisation of casual labour, which is hired and fired according to the need of the moment, and transferred for the duration of the job to destinations far away from the home area. His case-study reveals that the circulation of labour is indicative of an employment pattern which dominates both the rural and urban economy of large parts of South Asia. Elaborating on the social profile of the work migrants, the author argues that their identity is shaped by both class and caste relations and, despite action by state agencies, nothing of significance has been achieved to improve their quality of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Breman,Jan, 1996. "Footloose Labour," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521560832.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:cbooks:9780521560832
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. S. Chandrasekhar & Mousumi Das & Ajay Sharma, 2015. "Short-term Migration and Consumption Expenditure of Households in Rural India," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 105-122, March.
    2. Chhachhi, A., 1999. "Gender, flexibility, skill and industrial restructuring : the electronics industry in India," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19041, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    3. Mitra, Amit., 2002. "Training and skill formation for decent work in the informal sector : case studies from South India," ILO Working Papers 993571193402676, International Labour Organization.
    4. Prabir C. Bhattacharya, 2000. "An analysis of rural-to-rural migration in India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(5), pages 655-667.
    5. Amit Basole, 2014. "Informality and Flexible Specialization: Labour Supply, Wages, and Knowledge Flows in an Indian Artisanal Cluster," Working Papers 2014_07, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:343189 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sharma, Ajay & Chandrasekhar, S., 2014. "Growth of the Urban Shadow, Spatial Distribution of Economic Activities, and Commuting by Workers in Rural and Urban India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 154-166.
    8. repec:ilo:ilowps:458732 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Mamgain, Rajendra P., 2004. "Employment, migration and livelihoods in the Hill Economy of Uttaranchal," MPRA Paper 32303, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Seema Jayachandran, 2006. "Selling Labor Low: Wage Responses to Productivity Shocks in Developing Countries," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 538-575, June.
    11. John Sender, 2000. "Struggles To Escape Poverty In South Africa: Results From A Purposive Rural Survey," Working Papers 107, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    12. repec:ilo:ilowps:357119 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Samantha Watson, 2012. "Formalizing the Informal Economy: Women’s Autonomous Self-Employment in Rural South India," Working Papers id:4784, eSocialSciences.
    14. Srijit Mishra, 2007. "Agrarian Scenario in Post-reform India - A Story of Distress, Despair and Death," Development Economics Working Papers 22338, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    15. Swaminathan, Madhura, 1998. "Economic growth and the persistence of child labor: Evidence from an Indian city," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(8), pages 1513-1528, August.
    16. Spohr, Chris A., 2003. "Formal schooling and workforce participation in a rapidly developing economy: evidence from "compulsory" junior high school in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 291-327, April.
    17. Anirudh Krishna, 2005. "Poverty Knowledge and Poverty Action: Evidence from Three States in India," Working Papers id:274, eSocialSciences.
    18. Caroline Wilson, 2013. "Understanding the Dynamics of Socio-Economic Mobility: Tales from Two Indian Villages," Working Papers id:5323, eSocialSciences.
    19. Rao, Nitya, 2006. "Land rights, gender equality and household food security: Exploring the conceptual links in the case of India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 180-193, April.
    20. Jill Wells, 2001. "Construction and capital formation in less developed economies: unravelling the informal sector in an African city," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 267-274.
    21. David Clark, 2005. "Sen's capability approach and the many spaces of human well-being," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1339-1368.
    22. Karen Eggleston & Robert Jensen & Richard Zeckhauser, 2002. "Information and Communication Technologies, Markets and Economic Development," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0203, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    23. Parry, Jonathan, 2013. "Company and contract labour in a central Indian steel plant," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 52603, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    24. R. Ramakumar, 2006. "Coping with Risk or Courting More Risk?report on changing rural livelihoods during agrarian distress in Kerala," Working Papers id:442, eSocialSciences.

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