Accepted Paper:

Gond household autonomy and self-sufficiency in central India  


Smita Yadav (University of Sussex)

Paper short abstract:

What is the impact of the informal labour market on Gond households?

Paper long abstract:

The impact of the informal economy on rural households in India has brought back the study of the 'household' as the unit of economic study . With the increasing evidence of low impact of the welfare state in their lives, these households are organising and reorganizing themselves around the newer market forces in the form of participation in a highly unregulated labour market of India and attaining autonomy and independence from the welfare state. In this paper, I will discuss ethnographies of the Gond household autonomy and self-sufficiency in central India due to increasing integration with the informal economy. The Gonds are predominantly a tribal population but also are dependent on farming as the forest department has restricted their access to the forests. As a result, the Gonds are experiencing a threat to their traditional forms of forest dependent livelihoods and resort to the market to meet their needs without any state assistance. This leads to experiences of autonomy and self-sufficiency to avoid both food starvation and debt bondage which are a real threat to the households. These households integrate their lives with the informal labour market and as a result, experience an ideological shifts in their kinship, gender, and patriarchal practices.

Panel P141
Oikos: households, markets and nation