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ERIC Number: EJ1023043
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
Conservative Force or Contradictory Resource? Education and Affirmative Action in Jharkhand, India
Higham, Rob; Shah, Alpa
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v43 n6 p718-739 2013
This article explores the combination of education and affirmative action in challenging historic inequalities faced by adivasis, or indigenous peoples, living in a remote region of Eastern India. We show how the combined effects of education and affirmative action can act as a "contradictory resource". On the one hand, policies of affirmative action are enabling young educated adivasis--the children of subsistence farmers and manual labourers--to benefit from the creation of new, rural state jobs. We show how without affirmative action, such jobs may well have been monopolised by a local elite of higher castes. On the other hand, we argue several conservative processes have accompanied these changes. First, the reserved jobs secured by adivasis are relatively badly paid and insecure. Second, these jobs have not enabled relative progress for adivasis vis-à-vis traditional elites who are moving out of rural areas and diversifying their livelihoods. Third, young educated adivasis have begun to emulate the norms, values and ways of life of the local elite. This "culture of emulation" is fostering new inequalities between educated adivasis and their poorer kin, who face increasing proletarianisation. The contradictory resource, we argue, concerns not only inequalities in accessing certain jobs, but also the creation of new forms of differentiation among historically marginalised people. We conclude by setting these findings within the wider complex relations emerging between caste, ethnicity and class in contemporary India.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India