Ethnicity and Mobility: Emerging Ethnic Identity and Social Mobility Among the Waddars of South India

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  • Author :Chandrashekhar Bhat
  • Year of Publication :1984
  • ISBN: :0000000167
  • Language: :English
  • Binding: :Hard Bound
  • No of Pages: XIV, 213
  • Size: 23 cms
  • Categories: Social Work, Sociology

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About the Book :

This work analyzes the process of transformation of a mobile group spatially and socially drawing its strength und momentum through the phenomenon of ethnicity. The author illustrates the modus operandi of ethnic formation and examines the role of ethnicity in social mobility with the help of the case of the Waddurs, who have transformed from a . semi-nomadic to a settled mode of life during the mid-1940s. Varied as they were in their endogamous and occupational pursuits, the Waddurs realized the need for an ethnic unity by forging their differences to form a viable pressure group. Certain shared features such as language, myths, beliefs and rituals, political institutions and a common name facilitated the process of fusion of the diverse groups. The author examines the controversial relations between different segments among the scheduled castes and discusses the important dimensions of mobility along the ritual and secular axes. The Waddurs' attempt to achieve high ritual and social status on the one hand, and their effort to demonstrate and furnish proof for their downtrodden status on the other, appear to be paradoxical but they see no such contradiction. Mobility in contemporary India is viewed not just as passive emulation of superior status groups but that which involves conflict, challenge and opposition in relation to superior, equal or subordinate groups, adopting multiple reference groups for different situations of interaction. Ethnicity operates both as a factor for fusion within the context of a group and also as a measure for distinction and differentiation. In contemporary societies ethnicity has emerged as a powerful tool in the hands of certain groups to achieve power political, economic, educational and even religious for social development.

About Author :

Chandrashekhar Bhat teachers at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Hyderabad. He is currently at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, on a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship. His interest and publication are in the areas of social stratification and mobility, social movement, ethnic relation and the weaker sections.