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Social Identity and Aspiration - Double Jeopardy or Intersectionality? Evidence from Rural India


  • Sarkar, Sudipa
  • Chakravorty, Bhaskar
  • Lyonette, Clare


This study investigates the relationship between individuals' social identity and their future aspirations in a developing country. We analyse primary survey data from participants of a large-scale skill-training programme that targets rural poor youths in India, focusing on two dimensions of individuals' identity: caste and gender. Our empirical findings suggest that training participants from the most socially disadvantaged groups - Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Scheduled Caste (SC) - have significantly lower income aspiration when compared to Other Backward Class (OBC) and Other Caste (OC) participants. Female participants also have significantly lower aspiration than their male counterparts. The aspiration gaps exist even after controlling for various background characteristics, including participants' pre-training personality traits and soft skills. Individual-level and household-level factors mediate some of the aspiration gaps based on caste and gender. We find evidence that for SC/ST female participants, the disadvantages on both caste and gender dimensions add up; this is reflected in their lower income aspiration levels, in comparison with all other groups. Thus, our results support the hypothesis of "double jeopardy" instead of "intersectionality" in this context.

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  • Sarkar, Sudipa & Chakravorty, Bhaskar & Lyonette, Clare, 2020. "Social Identity and Aspiration - Double Jeopardy or Intersectionality? Evidence from Rural India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 724, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:724

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kumar, Anand & Sahoo, Soham, 2021. "Social Identity and STEM Choice: Evidence from Higher Secondary Schooling in India," GLO Discussion Paper Series 900, Global Labor Organization (GLO).

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    More about this item


    Social identity; Aspiration; Intersectionality; Gender; Caste; India;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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