Lecture by Jens Lerchem (Reader, SOAS)

North Holmes Road Campus
Friday 16 March 2018 (13:00-14:00)


Ground Down by Growth: Tribe, Caste, Class and Inequality in India Why has India’s astonishing economic growth not reached the people at the bottom of its social and economic hierarchy? Travelling the length and breadth of the subcontinent, this presentation shows how India’s ‘untouchables’ and ‘tribals’ fit into the global economy. India’s Dalit and Adivasi communities make up a staggering one in twenty-five people across the globe and yet they remain amongst the most oppressed. We show how, across India, capitalism entrenches rather than erases social difference and has transformed traditional forms of identity-based discrimination into new mechanisms of exploitation and oppression.

Through studies of the working poor, migrant labour and the conjugated oppression of caste, tribe, region, gender and class relations, the social inequalities generated by the modern economic system are exposed. Our work explores the precarious conditions of work and everyday struggles of the Dalits and Adivasis spanning the production of different commodities from tea to cotton, exploring the building of the infrastructure sustaining Indian economic growth from construction to dams, investigating the extraction of mineral resources. Importantly, it also highlights their fight back against the situations they find themselves in


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Last edited: 13/03/2018 07:30:00