Down and Out

Labouring Under Global Capitalism

Jan Breman, Arvind Das, Ravi Agarwal

Down and Out
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Jan Breman, Arvind Das, Ravi Agarwal

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

164 pages | richly illustrated | 11 x 8-3/4 | © 2000
Cloth $14.50 ISBN: 9789053564509 Published June 2000 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
Poverty is the dominant feature of the working lives portrayed in this book. But the misery of these men, women, and children in India has little to do with the underdevelopment of the past. The poverty here is caused by development and is concentrated mainly in what is referred to as the informal sector of the economy, which is what four-fifths of India's population depends on for its livelihood. It concerns the type of work that requires little or no capital investment or education and is small-scale by nature. The wages earned from these enterprises are not only low but are also characterized by strong work fluctuations per day, month, or season. Two other factors characterize this type of work: the absence of governmental monitoring and also, the absence of organizations, namely unions, which traditionally represented the concerns of the working class.

The choice for India emerges from the research of Jan Breman, performed over a 30-year period in an area located on India's west coast, the site of enormous economic growth. He has now returned to this location with photographer, Ravi Agarwal, to present a portrait of the working classes of this particular area. Together with Arvind Das, a well-known journalist and commentator on business matters in India, Jan Breman has written the text which accompanies the photographs.
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