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Accepted Paper:

Shifting Dynamics of Family Provision: gendered labours, household responsibilities and the care of state in rural Andhra Pradesh, India.  
Thomas Herzmark (International Centre of Advanced Studies 'Metamorphoses of the Political', New Delhi, India)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores how modalities of care and provision converge within the households of Koya adivasi shifting cultivators. In the form of 3 family profiles I document the seasonal allocation of labour within each household and examine how such responsibilities are locally evaluated.

Paper long abstract:

Pitched against the popular narrative of adivasi transition away from shifting cultivation, towards greater dependency on precarious migrant labour and state Affirmative Action, this paper describes Koya adivasi households as sites where different modalities of care converge. Households are the units to which publicly distributed state grain is allocated; they are measures in the implementation of state-sponsored wage labour for families below the poverty threshold; they are also the units in which traditional mixed-crop, rain-fed shifting cultivation is undertaken on hill slopes, and manifestations of local kinship patterns.

The paper focuses on contrasting logics of provision implicated in different forms of labour: shifting cultivation and sporadic state wage labour (practiced in family units), seasonal migrant labour (undertaken individually), and labour within the home (stratified across genders and generations). The ethnography tracks how three families exemplify competing modes of production and modalities of care, as state healthcare provision and market forces become increasingly intermeshed with local notions of family wellbeing within households.

Significant fluctuations in access to state support, and in the success of seasonal cultivation, mean that inequality between households can quickly become exacerbated to produce class-like divisions between families. Rather than analysing these changes as new class distinctions, the paper suggests that these families are situated between competing generational conceptions of wellbeing and family provisioning which actually overlap within and between households.

Panel Heal04
Household returns: rethinking the household through new biomedical models and welfare practices
  Session 1 Tuesday 30 March, 2021, -