Caste dominance and agricultural development in ...

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Title Caste dominance and agricultural development in village India
Author(s) Satadal Dasgupta
Journal Human Organization
Date 1975
Volume 34
Issue 4
Start page 400
End page 403
Abstract An attempt is made to develop a theoretical scheme relating caste structure to agricultural development in indian villages using the concept of caste dominance in interpreting the process of sanskritization in ru india. The basic argument is that it is the dominance of an agricultural caste which is positively related to agriculture in indian villages. An agricultural caste is defined as a caste to the members of which agriculture is a caste &/or traditional occupation. Cultivators belonging to an agricultural caste who are taught the skills of their own caste &/or traditional occupation, & to whom cultivation is a primary occupation, would attach more importance to agriculture in terms of skill in-put, interest & time spent in it than the cultivators belonging to nonagricultural castes. The concept of dominant caste, not as a mediator of models of sanskritization, but as a structural unit of indian villages could be effectively used in interpreting the relationship between caste & agriculture. All 3 attributes of dominant caste--numerical, hierarchical & economic--have relevance for this problem. Numerical dominance of an agricultural caste contributes to the homogeneity of the village population to the extent that it helps dissemination of innovative ideas. Lack of hierarchical dominance & subservience on the part of the agricultural castes in local caste hierarchy enables its members to invest manual labor & managerial skill in agriculture respectively. Economic dominance in terms of ownership of large-sized farms helps the members of an agricultural caste to engage intensively in productive agricultural activity. Modified AA.

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