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Title: The Organisation of Labour in an Industrialising Town of Rajasthan
Contributor(s): Williams, John Stewart (author); Jayaraman, R (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1985
Copyright Date: 1984
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: The thesis aims to describe and explain social change which has occurred over the last 150 years in the town of Bhilwara, the industrialising capital of an arid and industrially backward district in the southern region of the Indian State of Rajasthan. Before national Independence in 1947, Bhilwara formed part of the native state of Mewar which entered into a subordinate alliance with the British colonial power in 1818. The historical origins of modern Bhilwara date from this period. The thesis traces the transition of Bhilwara's urban social structure from one which was dominated economically and politically by a uniquely organised Rajput aristocracy which functioned under British protection to one which is now dominated by a hegemony of bourgeois interests that embraces a small number of expatriate Marwari capitalists, a modest number of local small-scale capitalists, and a proliferating bureaucracy and public sector. The wage-earning population is economically heterogeneous, in composition predominantly male, and in origins local. The data obtained from field-work concentrates primarily on the division of labour within Bhilwara and its geographical environs. The role of cultural, religious, political and legal institutions in the formation of Bhilwara's working class is investigated also. The Bhilwara study is a sequel to an investigation the author had previously undertaken in a nearby rural village. Because India's population is concentrated in rural areas, case studies of social change have tended to neglect urban social change. The earlier study used a mode of Marxian-inspired class analysis devised by Rudra for India's agricultural sector and the same mode has been adopted as the analytical basis for the Bhilwara study given that (a) India's urban population is increasing; that (b) consequently, Rudra's rural-urban dichotomy may not be unqualified; and (c) that principles underlying Rudra's analytical theory can be appropriately articulated for application in any given social milieu. While upholding the suitability of a Marxist interpretation of the phenomena under study, the thesis acknowledges inherent problems in Marxist theory as it relates to the polarisation of diametrically opposed social classes and, in particular, the seemingly unequal rate of exploitation of surplus value and seemingly negligible overt class antagonisms which exist when capitalist relations of production co-exist with pre-capitalist relations of production.
Publication Type: Thesis Masters Research
Rights Statement: Copyright 1984 - John Stewart Williams
HERDC Category Description: T1 Thesis - Masters Degree by Research
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