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Unraveling Farmer Suicides in IndiaEgoism and Masculinity in Peasant Life$
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Nilotpal Kumar

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199466856

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199466856.001.0001

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Aham, Swartham, and Poti

Aham, Swartham, and Poti

Rising Individualism in the Village

(p.91) 3 Aham, Swartham, and Poti
Unraveling Farmer Suicides in India

Nilotpal Kumar

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the transition in familial relations that constitute a part of the context for suicidal behaviours in Anantapur villages. It argues that there are processes of social fragmentation in family and inter-family kinship in a Durkheimian sense. Relationships amongst members of a household, family, and extended kin group are increasingly marked by economic self-interest, egoism, and status-related competition. The transition to intensive capitalist agriculture has sharpened individualistic roles, aspirations, and agency within and outside households. These changes interact with the encompassing ideology and practices of masculinity and open up new spaces for friction and contest in familial relationship. The relationship between father–son, husband–wife, and brothers are discussed in detail to illustrate this point.

Keywords:   joint family, elementary family, individualism, self-interest, social hierarchy, detachment, family violence, aggression, masculinity

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