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On Pauperism in Present and Past - Oxford Scholarship Online
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On Pauperism in Present and Past

Jan Breman


Pauperism and pauperization are widespread phenomena in India both in present and past. While a fierce debate continues on how to draw the line separating the poor from the non-poor, there is hardly any discussion on the huge mass, not less than one-fifth of the population, living in destitution. Rural and urban case studies conducted in the state of Gujarat highlight the ordeal of these paupers: the non-labouring poor who never had or have lost their ability to take care of themselves; the footloose labour driven away from the village for lack of work but also driven back ‘home’ again when th ... More

Keywords: informality and precarity, downward mobility, displacement and dispossession, inequality and exclusion, social Darwinism, vagrancy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780199464814
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199464814.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jan Breman, author
Professor Emeritus at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, and Honorary Fellow at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.