Down and Out: Labouring Under Global Capitalism
Poverty is the dominant feature of the working lives portrayed in this book. But the misery of these men, women, and children in India has little to do with the underdevelopment of the past. The poverty here is caused by development and is concentrated mainly in what is referred to as the informal sector of the economy, which is what four-fifths of India's population depends on for its livelihood. It concerns the type of work that requires little or no capital investment or education and is small-scale by nature. The wages earned from these enterprises are not only low but are also characterized by strong work fluctuations per day, month, or season. Two other factors characterize this type of work: the absence of governmental monitoring and also, the absence of organizations, namely unions, which traditionally represented the concerns of the working class.
The choice for India emerges from the research of Jan Breman, performed over a 30-year period in an area located on India's west coast, the site of enormous economic growth. He has now returned to this location with photographer, Ravi Agarwal, to present a portrait of the working classes of this particular area. Together with Arvind Das, a well-known journalist and commentator on business matters in India, Jan Breman has written the text which accompanies the photographs.
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ON THE MOVE
WORK SITES PROCESSES
THE WEFT AND THE WARP
BEHIND THE GLITTER
CRUSHING CANE AND LABOUR
THE BRICK MAKERS
BUILDERS AND DIGGERS
THE ASSERTION OF DIGNITY
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Adivasi agricultural labourers Ahmedabad ateliers Bardoli Bihar brick kilns brick-making brickyards camp cane cane-cutters capital carry caste cent centre century commodities countryside Dalit decades diamond cutters diamond workers dignity Dublas economy employed employers employment existence exploitation fact factories formal sector gang globalisation Halpatis Harappan civilisation harvest headload hinterland increasing India industry informal sector Jan Breman Khandeshis labour power labour process landless landpoor live looms machine Maharashtra migrant labour migrant workers milieu mill mobility mukadam Mumbai Navsari night operate organised Orissa owners paid Panch Mahals peasant poor poverty powerloom workers production region road rural labour Saurashtra season shift skilled slum social society south Gujarat stay stone quarries streets sugarcane Surat city Surat District Tapti river textile towns trade unions unionised unorganised urban village wages women and children workers in Surat workforce workplaces workshops