Journal article

"A useless thing!" or "nectar of the gods"? The cultural production of education and young men's struggles for respect in liberalizing north India

C Jeffrey, P Jeffery, R Jeffery

ANNALS OF THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS | ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD | Published : 2004

Abstract

Drawing on fourteen months' ethnographic field research in western Uttar Pradesh among educated Dalit (exuntouchable) and Muslim young men, this article uncovers a crisis in educated people's access to salaried employment in rural north India. Against the grain of other studies of youth underemployment in postcolonial settings, we argue that educated Muslim and Dalit young men have reacted to their exclusion from secure white-collar occupations by embracing education as a form of embodied cultural distinction rather than seeking out "traditional," "indigenous," or "village-based" identities. Young men elaborate on education's value with reference to a system of differences between moral, civ..

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