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ERIC Number: EJ879411
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0305-7925
To Fairly Tell: Social Mobility, Life Histories, and the Anthropologist
Benei, Veronique
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, v40 n2 p199-212 Mar 2010
This article focuses on social agents' own understandings of socio-economic mobility and social achievement, exploring the possibilities offered by the tool of "family" life history in the context of formerly Untouchable communities in western India, Maharashtra. While arguing in favour of family life histories as both resource and method in the Indian context, I reconsider the positivist functionalist stance dominant in studies of social mobility until the last decade. This stance raises issues of strategy and contingency, which are discussed in the particular setting of the mechanics industry in Kolhapur. Furthermore, exploring the relationship between determinism and contingency in life-paths raises important questions about how people construct their life stories in retrospect. Focusing on the case study of one family known over many years allows me to unravel the complex and subjective positioning at play in narrative research as it is mutually constituted by the story teller(s) and the anthropologist. (Contains 14 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India