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Inside-Outside
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Inside-Outside
Two Views of Social Change in Rural India


Courses:
Social Change

© 2014 | 472 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd
Poverty in rural India: Is this a permanent condition? Are villagers immobilized by a rigid caste system, limited resources and economic exploitation? This book is about villagers who have done remarkable things with their lives—people who have broken the constraints of poverty and inequality to become innovative and mobile. It is written partly by one villager who found a career doing research on social change. 

Inside–Outside narrates stories of grassroots change and innovation. These stories are discussed from the combined view of an insider (Baviskar), who grew up in a village in western India, and an outsider (Attwood), who came to study social change in the same region. Telling life stories from people who taught and surprised them, they challenge common stereotypes about Indian villagers—stereotypes of passivity, fatalism, and stagnation. 

Baviskar’s life and experience of change in his home village exemplify grassroots initiative and innovation. He was born as the son of an impoverished farmer in a drought-stricken village in western Maharashtra. Ability, hard work, and some dramatic twists of fate enabled him to attend college and then complete a doctorate in India’s premier sociology department. In contrast to Baviskar, Attwood is a complete outsider, having grown up in a suburb near Chicago, in the US heartland. He stumbled into anthropology and spent several years in India, doing fieldwork in the region where Baviskar grew up. The two met in 1969; they became friends and began four decades of collaborative research. 

Here they tell the stories of villagers who changed their own lives and who also, in many cases, changed the lives of others. These stories describe rapid innovation and institution-building in the countryside, challenging an array of common stereotypes about village life in India. Seeking explanations for change, it helps to look at village life from many angles. Inside and outside views are complementary and provide a more complete picture.
 
Preface
 
Introduction
 
I: PILKHOD AND BEYOND
 
Inside the Family (Pilkhod)
 
Inside the Village (Pilkhod)
 
High School (Chalisgaon)
 
College and University (Pune and Delhi)
 
II: OAK PARK AND BEYOND
 
Early Days (Oak Park)
 
Attwoods and Allied Families (USA)
 
Leaving Home (Deep Springs, Berkeley, Chicago)
 
Outsider in India (Bichpuri)
 
III: INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN
 
Marriage Out (Chalisgaon, Pune, Delhi)
 
Discovering Sociology (Delhi)
 
Fieldwork Back Home (Kopargaon Sugar Factory)
 
IV: FROM OUTSIDE IN
 
How I Returned to India (Pune District)
 
I Was Misinformed (Malegaon Village)
 
Villagers as Agents of History (Nira Valley)
 
V: INSIDE AND OUT
 
Outsider in Sanjaya Village (Gujarat)
 
Outside and Inside the Family (Pilkhod)
 
VI: THOUGHTS ON COOPERATION, INEQUALITY, AND POINTS OF VIEW
 
Cooperation and Controversy
 
Villager Sociology, Economic Inequality, and Poverty
 
Caste Barriers to Initiative and Innovation
 
Points of View
 
Glossary
 
Bibliography
 
Index

The book favours comparative social research that communicates across cultural boundaries and encourages objective research by removing blind spots and biases...provides details of extensive research work in cooperatives and can serve as reference by sociologists and anthropologists in India and elsewhere. A very useful book for those involved in management of public administration.

The Tribune

An unusual compilation...based on the reflections on the structure of and changes in the social life of rural India.

Frontline, 26 December 2014

The authors’ autobiographical narratives and fieldwork experiences are pointers to the sensitive and sensible issues that young researchers in agrarian sociology and development studies must attend to. The book is full of insightful observations and hence it will be quite useful not only for those who look forward to follow the path the two authors have traversed but also for all students and faculty of sociology and social anthropology.

 

Contribution to Indian Sociology,
Volume 50 (Issue 2), June 2016

Both the authors of the book have soaked themselves in the facts of events and the lives of people…. The book, which is in part a biographical account and in part a research study, is enriching because of a close examination of facts and lives of people…such innovation by the authors marks a change.

Social Change,
Vol 46 (Issue 4), December 2016

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ISBN: 9788132113508