[CSH Lecture Series #7 – ONLINE] Caste, class and social mobility. A longitudinal study in a North Indian village 1958-2015 (F. Bolazzi)

Event Details

Floriane Bolazzi

University of Milan

Caste, class and social mobility. A longitudinal study in a North Indian village 1958-2015

The session will be online via Zoom on 18 January 2021, 5:00 pm onwards:


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Interviewees from fieldwork in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh (2018). Pictures released with their consent. Photo credit: Floriane Bolazzi.

Abstract: Since its independence (1947), India has undergone profound social, political, and economic transformations driven by the agrarian reforms in the 1950s, the Green Revolution in the 1970s and the neoliberal turn in the 1990s. While these changes have undeniably contributed to the economic development of the country, it is less clear to what extent better opportunities for social mobility opened up to individuals, particularly those from groups historically disadvantaged by their caste position. Previous large-scale studies of social mobility in India have been limited by the lack of intergenerational data and the impossibility to disaggregate administrative caste categories into jatis (birth-ascribed endogamous groups). Using unique individual-level data for the entire population of Palanpur, a village in Uttar Pradesh, surveyed seven times from 1958 to 2015, this presentation aims at verifying whether the social mobility has increased over time and whether caste, at the jati level, continues to prevail as a factor of social stratification. The speaker will present some of the evidence reported in her thesis and resulting from an original approach of mixed methodology and a wide-ranging analysis of the material and subjective dimensions of mobility and of their intersection.

Floriane Bolazzi is currently a post-doc researcher at the Department of Sociology and Social Research (University Milano Bicocca) where she is working on labour and social mobility issues. She has recently defended a joint PhD at CESSMA (University of Paris) and NASP (University of Milan) co-supervised by Isabelle Guérin and Gabriele Ballarino.  In 2014, she initially joined the project “Palanpur: India’s economic revolution: a perspective from six decades of economic development in a north Indian village” as a research assistant of Himanshu. Since then she has been affiliated with the CSH as a visiting Ph.D. candidate.



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