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

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Liana J WilliamsSubscribe to Liana J Williams

A Future Orientation to Agrarian Livelihoods

This paper argues that a future orientation to livelihoods research is needed which pays explicit attention to the trends and dynamics of household livelihoods. An analytical framework is presented that consider: dispositions of different groups, the influence of sociocultural environments, the different role of actors in reinforcing or transforming sociocultural environments, and the broader structural conditions including exclusion and terms of incorporation. This framework is applied to the analysis of different groupings of farmers in two villages in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh to highlight processes that result in upward and downward mobility for different social groups. The paper concludes that a future orientation to livelihoods research provides a more nuanced picture as compared to economic calculations of farm viability and the ability and willingness of different household groupings to invest in agriculture. Second, by employing this approach, the identification of groups that will suffer chronic poverty, or alternatively, those at the risk of downward mobility is enhanced. Finally, a future orientation to livelihoods helps to identify institutional and structural conditions that adversely shape livelihoods, and therefore where priority investments could be made.
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