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Life Histories and Long-Term Change

Not only do life histories provide insights into the complexity and variety of individual lives and social relationships, they enable us to identify patterns and issues of greater generality. Analysing the'life histories' collected in course of fieldwork in a West Bengal village, this paper seeks in turn to understand rural livelihoods, while also exploring the methodological issues involved in using such information to complement other qualitative and quantitative data.

Waged Labour Arrangements in a West Bengal Village

In this study of types of labour arrangement in a West Bengal village, several kinds of land tenure and waged labour are seen. Despite the impact of land reforms and a greater assertion by the sharecroppers; a patron-client relationship is still seen to exist between erstwhile landlords and the labourer. The labourers were seen to prefer relations of loan credit with the landlord, who charged interest in terms of labour days than with the mahajans, who charged in cash, and at exhorbitant rates of interest.

Endangered Professionals-Traditional Birth Attendants of South Bihar

mythology to communicate political messages is one. Laloo's arrival on his 'garib chetna rath' holding a rod fitted with the parly symbol wheel (chakra) which he was revolving with his other hand, without doubt impersonating Krishna who is known to have finished off his enemies with the chakra' is a case in point. This kind of self-depiction on the part of our leaders as gods and goddesses is also part of an unscientific political culture, which hopes to cash on the beliefs and sentiments of the people. These dramatics are certainly useful in camouflaging the real issues. It is easier to perpetuate myths rather than encourage the people to think rationally and objectively. Political ideo-logy apart, to this extent, Laloo's chakra has proven to be no different than Advanfs 'rath'.
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