In and aspiration of fathersabout their sons seems

In the variety of changes that are taking place so far, the caste systemtogether with other primordial system also has changed a lot. In this researchstudy for examining social mobility of Dalit, a multiple approach based oneconomic, social and cultural domain of human activity is used (Lipset andZitterberg, 1966). In measuring the intergenerational mobility, Hawkes’ (1972)quantative model measuring son’s status of mobility by subtracting the statusscores of his father appear to be too simplistic but it may grossly misrepresent thefact that the son’s achieved status is an aggregation of his achievements plusorientations and aspirations of his father about him. But in this present study ofsocial mobility of Dalit, variable relating to orientation and aspiration of fathersabout their sons seems to be limited as the achieved status of the respondents areprimarily facilitated by the independent exogenous variable such as ‘preferentialtreatment’ as provided to them by the government. ‘Preferential treatment’ hasacted both as an achievement-orientated variable and as independent exogenousvariables. However, this can also be accepted as a constant variable because it hasoperated in almost equal manner among the Dalit respondents. Therefore,Hawkes’ (1972) model combined with Lipset and Zitterberg (1966) model of themultidimensionality of achievement of present generation measured bysubtracting the status scores of the preceding generation stands valid.The analysis of background information, a part of which is made inprevious chapter, along the achievement dimensions is necessary providing acomprehensive framework for the measurement of intergenerational mobility. Theentire analysis in this chapter is based on correlation, along with its extent,between the respondents’ background and identification. It also examined thevariations if any, in the levels of their status identification in accordance withvariations in their social background such as caste and educational status.103Generally, social mobility is analyzed in terms of horizontal and verticaldirections. Ramsoy (1965) has measured the direction of mobility in the forms ofupward, downward and stable (horizontal). Tumin and Collins (1959) classifiedfour types of mobility such as, high stationeries-horizontal, upward mobiles,downwardly mobiles, low stationeries-horizontal1. However, in this chapter, theintergenerational mobility of Dalit was examined heuristically in the economic,social and political domains of their social settings.Dalit struggled to raise their status in the caste hierarchy in various ways,such as, educational attainment, changing occupation, improvement in economicstatus and standard of living, and adopting of the way of life of the higher castesor Sanskritization. Not all the castes of Dalit community are using the samemethod for raising their caste status. It appears to achieve the over alldevelopment of Dalit, six models or strategies, such as reservation, socialistrevolution, cultural change, economic development, urbanization and politicalempowerment are found important. In the subsequent sections, keeping in viewthe objectives and hypothesizes, the social mobility of Dalit was analyzed keepingthe issues under focus. While discerning the social mobility of Dalit, the incomparative frame of reference one ascriptive criterion such as caste status andanother achieved criterion as education were used to understand the trajectories ofsuch mobility.In discerning intra-generational mobility, a tiny group might emergeamong the Dalit, who were better educated and placed in the various echelons ofthe ruling establishment. However, beyond this initial impression of magnitude ofsuch changes, the sociology and politics of this status shift needs to be probed.This in fact would raise various issues such as, how momentous is this change? Isit evenly spread across sub-castes within the Dalit fraternity? If not, which castehas reaped the benefits of this change mostly and the reasons thereof? Is there anyelite bias in the enjoyment of such benefits i.e., individuals with a better socioeconomicstatus enjoying an advantage in harnessing them? What extent the rural104urban cleavage among the target population affects this process? What is thenature of the political leadership that is emerging among the Dalit? What is thenet impact of this overall status shift on the caste-class-power conundrum? Thesubsequent analysis attempted at answering these questions. Economic MobilityEconomic mobility is a measure of how much a person’s economicposition changes over time, which has important bearing in social ranking both asindividual and corporate group. Economic mobility studies are concerned withquantifying the movement of given recipient units through the distribution ofeconomic well being over time, establishing how dependent one’s currenteconomic position is on one’s past position, and relating to people’s mobilityexperiences to the various influences such as macroeconomic growth or decline.However, often the phrase ‘income mobility’ is synonymously used for economicmobility. However, in this study, economic mobility is construed to include’income mobility’, not the other way around. Here, economic mobility is notlimitarian in economic sense rather it is conceptualized to include income,expenditure, labour market earning, occupational history, aspiration andattainment.In measuring economic mobility, the following methodological issues areworth mentioning. Firstly, mobility analysis requires longitudinal data formeasuring the economic change by comparing the level of income of a person orgroup with an earlier point in time, which is called absolute mobility. Again, itcan be measured by comparing the level of change of income of a person or groupin relation to others, which is called relative mobility. Since this research studyfocus on both as why some people seem to be more successful over others andalso how people prospered in comparison to their earlier generation, therefore theeconomic mobility is conceptualized both in relative and absolute term.Secondly, mobility analysis can be applied to a variety of recipient unitssuch as individual, family and corporate level. Since this research study intends to105examine the aspect of mobility heuristically, therefore economic mobility isanalysed at all the levels such as individual, family and corporate, which in fact,would remove the ambiguity about the units that move or do not move.Third, in frame of economic mobility any aspect of economic well-beingcan be used, which includes income, expenditure, labour market earnings, oroccupational attainment of the individual or households. When income andexpenditure are used, it can be gauged on a per capita basis. It also would help indelineating the extent of mobility and also the quality and quantum of mobility.When occupational attainment is used, it can be gauged through occupationalstatus and income. Occupation, no doubt, is an important criterion in any mobilitystudies, particularly pertaining to Dalit, who are segregated based occupation. Theoccupational status includes occupational history, prestige and occupationalaspiration of Dalit. In subsequent paragraph, the issues raised above wereincluded in analysing economic mobility of Dalit. Occupational Attainment: In caste based hierarchical society, the socialidentity, economic standing, social status and even self-esteem of an individuallargely depends upon the occupational status of an individual. Hence, next toeducation, occupation assumes centrality in social mobility. However, measuringoccupational mobility in comparative frame of reference besets certainmethodological problems. A basic difficulty pertains to the level of comparison.The inter-group comparison (comparing the social mobility of one set of actorswith that of others, for instance Dalit with non-Dalit), geographical comparison(comparing the mobility of people located in different geographical areas) andinter-generational comparison (comparing the mobility of fathers and theirprogenies) are the commonly applied methods. However, the first two methodshave only a restricted appeal. In the first instance, considering the historicaldisadvantages under which Dalit had been subjected to, the comparison ofoccupation mobility between Dalit and non-Dalit hardly needs any empiricalvalidation. The second frame of reference-geographical comparison-may find106pertinence but is still problematic. It is beyond the scope of individual research asit entails generation of massive data from wide geographical areas. The choicetherefore is limited to one of inter-generational comparison.In the inter-generational frame, mobility is measured by comparing theoccupational status between present and preceding generation. However, here alsoan important methodological concern is raised by scholars about the level ofcomparison. It appears the units of comparison do not belong to a controlledgroup as the father’s position is obtained at the peak of his career, while theinformation for the children refers to a period prior to their peak occupation(Lipset and Zetterberg 1970). However, Glass and Hall (1967) and Lipset andZetterberg (1970) put forward two different proposals for removing suchambiguity. Glass and Hall (1967) suggested including only persons above 50years of age as units of analysis. Lipset and Zetterberg (1970) espoused forcomparing father-children occupation at a given point of their life span as personbecomes socially immobile at the age of 50 years and above because by the timehe would have perhaps exhausted all the resources available to him for materialadvancement limiting his aspiration and expectation. Hence, social mobilityacquired at the age of fifty years or beyond termed as ‘perfect mobility'(Mukherjee 1958). But, the perfect mobility of a person is not possible even in hisold age because there is no limit to his aspirations and expectations. Theaspiration and expectations of a person are not fulfilled even in his old age.Therefore, social mobility acquired by him at this age and beyond has beenregarded as ‘quasi-perfect’. Such an analysis of mobility is proper only in case ofintra-generational mobility and particularly occupational mobility. However,Tasuda (1964) rejected both the proposals, firstly because it omited most of thepresent population and secondly it mechanically matched the two generations byage overlooking other considerations. Upward inter-generational mobility ispossible even at the son’s earlier age because in a multidimensional framework,he might have achieved better education, employment, income etc. than that of his107father. In inter-generational mobility, the term ‘total mobility’ means mobility ofcomposite status, which occurs when the status of a son, based on his positionsalong the multiple dimensions, is different from such status of his father. Thecorrelation coefficient between the age group and mobility score appear to bevalid. Therefore, in inter-generational comparative framework comparing theoccupational level of respondents with their fathers without controlling the agefactor does not pose any serious problem as a brute majority of the parents of therespondents were or are occupationally immobile, due to the invidious castesystem. As such, one would adopt the inter-generational framework for assessingmobility (Melvin Tumin and Ray Collin’s 1965).The occupational mobility is measured by comparing theoccupational status of the present occupational grade of the head of householdswith the final occupational grades reached by their fathers. However, differentscholars adopted various classificatory schemes (Mallik 1979; Ram 1988).Table 6.1Nine-fold Prestige Classification of Occupational CategorySlNo.OccupationalCategoryOccupations OccupationalGrade1 Professionaland ExecutiveDoctors, Lecturers, Bank Managers, Teachers, JailWardens, Station master, Officer I2 White collar Bank or Postal clerk, Postal inspector, Typist,Conductor II3Paraprofessionaland ParaexecutiveVillage development officer, compounder, healthworker, Police constables, excise constables, Malenurse, SepoyIII4 Skilled worker Railway driver, Bus driver, Telephone operator,electricians, mechanics and cinema operator IV5 Services Attendant, Peon, Gate man, Signal man, Municipalityworker V6 Business Petty hotel owner, Petty Shop or Workshop owner,Brick making VI7Semi SkilledSelf employedmanual workerPainter, tailor, mason, saw mill workers, weavers, milkvendors, marginal farmers, grass vendors, rickshawpullersVII8 ManualworkersAgricultural labourers, Hamali, Stone crushing workers,lorry cleaner, Cooley, Cold drink shop worker VIII9 Menial services Scavengers, Sweepers, Cobblers, Butchers, Compostman IXHowever, in this present study uses nine-fold occupational grade as shown in thetable 6.1. However, this does not classify occupations into a hierarchy. Here,108occupations are grouped into a small number of classes according to certaindefining features. It does not mean that, for instance, grade III ranks higher thangrade IV. Rather they are distinguished in qualitatively different socialrelationships.The table 6.2 reveals the occupational status of respondents according totheir caste status in sample villages. It appeared the occupational statuses of Bagdirespondents were restricted only as ‘Semi-Skilled Self Employed Manual Worker’and ‘Manual Worker’. The Chamar respondents more or less distributed in fouroccupational grades, such as ‘Services’, ‘Business’, ‘Semi-Skilled Self EmployedManual Worker’ and ‘Manual Worker’. Despite of their stigmatized social status,Table 6.2Occupational Status and Caste Status of Respondents in number and per centSl.No.Caste Occupational Status TotalServices Business Semi-SkilledSelf EmployedManual WorkerManualWorker1 Bagdi – – 5(20.00)21(80.00)27(100.00)2 Chamar 5(11.11)5(11.11)16(33.33)21(44.45)48(100.00)3 Namasudra – 16(21.42)21(28.57)38(50.00)75(100.00)4 Total 5(3.57)21(14.28)43(28.57)80(53.58)150(100.00)the Chamar respondents managed to acquire various non-traditional occupations,which will be discussed subsequently. The occupational statuses of Namasudrarespondents ranged from ‘Business’, ‘Semi-Skilled Self Employed ManualWorker’ and ‘Manual Worker’. Among the three castes, the Chamar respondentswere found to be more mobile and Bagdi respondents were least mobile. But,among all the castes, majority of them were found to follow their traditionaloccupations or occupations having very low prestige grade.In table 6.3, the occupational grade of the heads of households iscompared with that of their fathers. The data in table are given in three forms. Theupper case of each cell shows the occupational grade of head of households andcorresponding grade of their father in number. The middle case of each cell shows109the extent to which the sons have the different occupational grade from constantoccupational grade of fathers in per cent and in the bottom, case of each cellshows the extent to which the sons have the same status from variableoccupational grades of their fathers in per cent.


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