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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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(p.263) 7 Conclusion
Unraveling Farmer Suicides in India

Nilotpal Kumar

Oxford University Press

Chapter 7 closes the book by summarizing key findings and arguments advanced and their relevance for the literature on agrarian economy, development, and suicide. It reiterates that crisis of dry-land production has forced farmers across classes, particularly small and marginal farmers, to take more risk in trying to switch to remunerative horticulture. It has also set up a contradiction between weak production capacities, low incomes, and life cycle specific aspirations for high social and economic mobility through expanded consumption. This plays an important role in aggravating rural indebtedness. There is a concurrent entrenchment of individualism and self-interest as the guiding principle in domestic relations, which is opening up new spaces for familial friction and stress in a cultural system where hierarchical authority in family has been the norm. The chapter argues that rural suicide, whether farm-related or other types, represents a synchronization of anomic and egoistic states in a cultural field that valorizes strong masculinity.

Keywords:   agrarian crisis, unviability, indebtedness, individualism, anomie, egoism, masculinity

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