ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Carol UpadhyaSubscribe to Carol Upadhya

Migration, Skilling, and Employment in Bengaluru’s New Service Economy

This paper summarises the key findings of an extensive research study recently completed in the Bengaluru and Raichur districts of Karnataka. Against the backdrop of the Skill India policy, the research focused on skill development centres that mobilise rural youth to undergo training and facilitate their entry into the lower rungs of the new service economy. While the organised services account for an increasing share of urban employment, the study found that such jobs are unlikely to lead to economic or social mobility. Instead, low wages, insecure tenure, and economic hardships in the city push service workers to switch jobs or return to their villages. The unregulated and precarious nature of work in organised services creates a fluid and unstable workforce, thus raising questions about the hegemonic skills paradigm and India’s development trajectory.


Emergence of New Business Classes

India's New Capitalists: Caste, Business, and Industry in a Modern Nation by Harish Damodaran (Ranikhet: Permanent Black/New India Foundation), 2008;

The Minus Degrees

Degrees without Freedom? Education, Masculinities, and Unemployment in North India by Craig Jeffrey, Patricia Jeffery and Roger Jeffery;

Ethnographies of the Global Information Economy: Research Strategies and Methods

Globalisation and the increasing complexity of the contemporary world have posed serious methodological problems for sociologists and social anthropologists. This paper discusses new approaches, such as "global" and "multi-sited" ethnography that aim to capture these transformations. Drawing examples from a sociological study of the Indian information technology industry and its employees, it describes the research strategies and qualitative methods that were employed and some of the problems encountered. The paper also focuses on research strategies for the study of formal organisations, especially in the corporate world, and questions of reflexivity and research ethics.

Employment, Exclusion and 'Merit' in the Indian IT Industry

The Indian information technology industry is often represented as providing employment opportunities to a wider cross section of society than has been the case with other professional and white collar jobs. However, available data suggest that the social composition of the IT workforce is more homogeneous than is often supposed, in that the workforce is largely urban, middle class, and high/middle caste. The processes of exclusion that operate in the educational system and in recruitment as also the ideology of "merit" in the context of elite opposition to reservation, create this relative social homogeneity in the IT workforce.

Community Rights in Land in Jharkhand

This paper examines the manner in which community land rights, which were recognised in the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act, have been abrogated since independence due to various changes in the law and land revenue system, and the conflicts that have arisen as a result.

A New Transnational Capitalist Class?

The software industry has produced a new kind of transnational capitalist class in India. Most of the founders of software firms have come from the 'middle class', building on their cultural capital of higher education and social capital acquired through professional careers. This class, and the IT industry to which it belongs are also distinguished by their global integration and relative autonomy from the 'old' Indian economy dominated by the public sector and a nationalist capitalist class. The entry of multinationals into the IT industry has produced synergies that have helped it to grow and, for these reasons, the IT business class is also one of the most outspoken votaries of globalisation.

Borrowing for Development

This study of a single World Bank-funded Scheme, the Karnataka State Highways Improvement Project, is not just an evaluation of this project, but a means of discussing the larger issues that arise from this pattern of externally-funded development.

Gender in Feminist Theory

Gender by V Geetha; Theorising Feminism Series, Stree, Kolkata, 2002; pp xvi + 149, Rs 175.


Carol Upadhya I WRITE in response to John and Niranjana


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