Land, caste and power in circular migration (NIAS Working Paper No.WP9-2018)

Haque, Jiyaul (2018) Land, caste and power in circular migration (NIAS Working Paper No.WP9-2018). Working Paper. NIAS, Bangalore.

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Abstract: The phenomenon of rural workers seeking employment in multiple locations is a well-established practice. Seasonal migration of agricultural workers occurs both intra-state as well as inter-state. There is now growing evidence that this search for employment for a part of the year extends beyond agriculture in rural areas to non-agriucltural work in urban settlements. This leads to what has been called as circular migration, or the phenomenon of workers working for a part of the year in urban settlements and returning to their rural base for the rest of the year. Much of the attention around circular migration has focused on the conditions prompting workers to seek employment outside their villages. Micro-studies have shown that circular migration is largely undertaken due to rural unemployment, scarcity of land, inequitable land distribution, low agriculture productivity and high population density (Bird & Deshingkar, 2009). This denotes extreme economic and often social hardship and is undertaken mostly by landless or land-poor, unskilled and illiterate poor laborers (Deshingkar & Start, 2003, p.2). Consistent with this picture is the fact that circular migration is more prevalent in regions which witness high levels of intra- regional and inter-regional socioeconomic inequalities (Keshri & Bhagat, 2010, p.39). While these analyses provide insights into why workers are forced to seek employment outside their villages, they are somewhat less forthcoming on why they return to the village for a part of the year. Among the possible reasons is the inhospitality of the urban spaces to circular migrants. These migrants often have to live in very difficult conditions in the city and urban employment is temporary.
Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Inequality
Programmes > Inequality and Human Development Programme
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2021 11:40
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2021 11:40
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    Funders: UNSPECIFIED
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED

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