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Kindreds of the Earth: Badaga Household Structure and Demography
This book focuses on the household of the Badagas, a community that lives in the Nilgiri Hills in southern India. Paul Hockings reports his unique longitudinal study of this community, covering 27 years of measurement and sociocultural change in four sample villages, where he conducted censuses every nine years. Combining his knowledge of anthropology,...
This book focuses on the household of the Badagas, a community that lives in the Nilgiri Hills in southern India. Paul Hockings reports his unique longitudinal study of this community, covering 27 years of measurement and sociocultural change in four sample villages, where he conducted censuses every nine years. Combining his knowledge of anthropology, demography, and linguistics, the author focuses primarily on demographic transition and social change over time. He also studies kinship, marriage, household structure, and various aspects of Badaga contemporary life, including the influence of the mass media, schooling, their economy, and migration. The overall purpose is to understand the nature of the process of modernization among them. The most important conclusion that Paul Hockings reaches is that the Badagas, more specifically their womenfolk, have managed to cap any population explosion that was previously underway. Among his other findings are that Badaga modernization has occurred without significant industrialization; fertility has declined significantly during one generation, which is largely the consequence of changing attributes toward children's inherent worth; and that the easy availability of education has assisted the emergence of modernizing tendencies. As a manifestation of this, the Badagas are moving away from subsistence farming to tea plantations, from ascribed status to educated professions, and from self-sufficiency to urbanized "middle-class" tastes and attitudes. In conclusion, Paul Hockings presents a model for the modernization of Badaga economy and society. An important study which will serve as a guide to what is likely to happen over much of South Asia in the years ahead in terms of demographic transition, this book will be of considerable interest to demographers, sociologists, and economists.
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