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Down and Out: Labouring under Global Capitalism

Arvind N. Das (Author) Jan Breman (Author)
Synopsis As the tides of globalisation and privatisation sweep across the world, it sometimes appears as if the labourer has been obliterated from public discourse. Thus, while retrenchment, contractualisation and casualisation push workers out from the so-called formal sector to the largely non-unionised informal sector, millions languish in squalor, poverty and misery. Not only does this situation prevail in the developing world, it has also manifested itself in the developed world in the form of underpaid and exploited 'guest workers', many of whom are illegal migrants. This book looks of the condition of workers in the informal sector in and around Surat, which was the site of Jan Breman's research reported in Footloose Labour (Cambridge University Press, 1996). Down and Out breaks new ground in presenting the world of Indian labour through a visual account, supplemented by anthropological insights that serve to contextualise powerful images. Presenting snapshots from the lives of labourers--in villages, on the move and at work sites--this book engages with the experience of labouring in different industries--textile, diamond, sugar, brick making and construction. Already famous for his compassionate view of this form of human existence, Jan Breman, together with Arvind N. Das, now brings the labourer into sharp focus, with the photographer Ravi Agarwal. Visually powerful, their work shows with great felicity the struggles of labourers for survival and better living and working conditions, as well as their assertions for dignity. This attractive book will be of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, journalists, activists, and the interested lay readers.
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About the authors

Arvind N. Das

Arvind N. Das (1948-2000) was a prominent social scientist and journalist. A former Senior Editor of The Times of India, he started publishing Biblio: A Review of Books in 1996. He wrote or edited eleven books, including Down and Out: Labouring under Global Capitalism (New Delhi 2000), with Jan Breman.

Jan Breman

Jan Breman is Professor of Comparative Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

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Bibliographic information

Title Down and Out: Labouring under Global Capitalism
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2000
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195653041
length 164p., 23cm.