Working paper / Globalisation and Social Transformation in a Midland Village

Luke, Mijo. ‘Globalisation and the Re-articulations of the Local: A Case Study from Kerala’s Midlands’. CDS Working Paper Series 481, Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, December 2018.

Abstract (edited): This paper is a preliminary attempt to understand globalisation and social transformation in rural Kerala. It studies the socio-economic changes in a village (Kavakad) in the midland region of Kerala, to trace how determinants of change are historically shaped. The paper triangulates quantitative data, qualitative materials from fieldwork, and historical sources to understand social transformation.

It focuses on the historical trajectories of mobility (spatial, educational, and occupational) of three communities (Syrian Christians, Ezhavas, and Pulayas) in the village. The shaping of the locality and its development trajectory are entrenched in the power dynamics of land ownership (between the Pulaya and Syrian Christian communities), which facilitated Syrian Christian dominance in the development process. The Syrian Christians were the locus of 20th-century socio-economic transition in the village.

While the well-endowed Syrian Christians gained immensely from transnational connections, new ways opened up for the Pulaya–Dalit community through the political decentralisation of the 1990s. At present, despite enhanced mobility in all communities, social inequalities persist in the village.

The paper concludes that market-led processes of globalisation and transnationalism benefit dominant communities, but only local, political interventions are pivotal for the development of marginalised communities.

Full text: http://cds.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/WP481.pdf

Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup

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