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Seminar by Mr. Mijo P Luke

Globalization and the Re-articulation of the Rural: A Case Study from Kerala’s Midlands

A seminar on ‘Globalization and the Re-articulation of the Rural: A Case Study from Kerala’s Midlands,’ was presented by Mr. Mijo P Luke, PhD Scholar, CDS at the Joan Robinson Hall on Friday, 20 July 2018.

This paper is a preliminary attempt to understand globalisation and social transformation in the rural Kerala. It addresses the socio-economic changes in a village in the mid-land region of Kerala namely Kavakad, by looking at the historical shaping of the determinants of change. The paper triangulates quantitative data and qualitative materials from field work alongside the historical sources to understand social transformation. It focuses on the historical trajectories of development and mobility (spatial, educational, and occupational) of three prominent communities in the village, namely Syrian Christian, Ezhava and Pulaya. The shaping of the locality and development trajectory is entrenched in the power dynamics of land ownership between the communities, which facilitated Syrian Christian dominance in the development process, and hence, the community appeared to be the locus of 20th century socio-economic transition in the village. Globalisation has, however, enhanced the mobility patterns in all communities; however, the discussion in this paper shows that social inequalities persist in the village. Also, it appears that the well endowed Syrian Christians gained immensely from transnational connections, while the political decentralization of 1990s has been significant for Pulaya –Dalit community. It concludes that transnational shifts have benefited the dominant communities, while it is local shifts that play a pivotal role for the development of the marginalized communities.