Accepted paper:

Policy implications of Ethnographic studies: Lessons from Midnapore, West Bengal

Author:

Abhijit Guha (Vidyasagar University)

Paper short abstract:

Majority of the Anthropologists pay little attention to the policy implications of their surveys and ethnographic reports. It is high time that they should. This paper makes an attempt to bring into focus the policy implications of some case studies conducted by the author and his students of the Department of Anthropology at Vidyasagar University over a period of fifteen years.

Paper long abstract:

Majority of the Anthropologists pay little attention to the policy implications of their surveys and ethnographic reports. It is high time that they should. This paper makes an attempt to bring into focus the policy implications of some case studies conducted by the author and his students of the Department of Anthropology at Vidyasagar University over a period of fifteen years. The case studies come from a variety of situations from a single district in the Western part West Bengal. The common thread, which runs through all the case studies relates to the process of marginalization of the peasantry in the context of the development initiatives undertaken by the policy makers. The case studies reveal that industrialization, joint forest management, social forestry, building up a university, creating new opportunities of employment in an urban environment may not always lead to the empowerment of the poor let alone sustainable development. The lesson which one may learn from this endeavour is, however not a very new one. It tells us to tailor our so-called pro-people policies really participatory. We are after all as narrated by one informant riding on a difficult bullock; we must know how to control it.

panel PE25
Sustainable livelihood security and human development