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Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India

Patrick Inglis (Author)

India remains a country mired in poverty, with two-thirds of its 1.3 billion people living on little more than a few dollars a day. Just as telling, the country's informal working population numbers nearly 500 million, or approximately eighty percent of the entire labor force. Despite these figures and the related structural disadvantages that imperil the lives of so many, the Indian elite maintain that the poor need only work harder and they, too, can become rich. The results of this ambitious ten-year ethnography at exclusive golf clubs in Bangalore shatter such self-serving illusions. In Narrow Fairways, Patrick Inglis combines participant observation, interviews, and archival research to show how social mobility among the poor lower-caste golf caddies who carry the golf sets of wealthy upper-caste members at these clubs is ultimately constrained and narrowed. The book highlights how elites secure and extend class and caste privileges, while also delivering a necessary rebuke to India's present development strategy, which pays far too little attention to promoting quality healthcare, education, and other basic social services that would deliver real opportunities to the poor.

Contents: Introduction. Part One: Labor and Land. 1. The "Caddie Question". 2. Under Construction: The Making of Elite Ideology. Part Two: Servility, Deference and Place: 3. The Labor of Aspiration. 4. The Boys of Banandur. 5. Caste Illa. Part Three: Opportunity Costs. 6. The Burden of Distinction. 7. "It Will Become": Twists of Fate. 8. Going Places. Part Four: Getting By, Falling Behind. 9. Escape from Challaghatta. 10. The (Mis)Fortunes of Ordinary Men. 11. On the Path of Development. Conclusion. Acknowledgments. Notes. Index.

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About the author

Patrick Inglis

Patrick Inglis is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College. He teaches and writes on matters of global development, labor, and inequality.


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Bibliographic information

Title Narrow Fairways: Getting By and Falling Behind in the New India
Author Patrick Inglis
Format Hardcover
Date published: 07.11.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780197508602
length 322p.