Social Differentiation and the Politics of Access to Groundwater in North Gujarat

Dik Roth and Linden Vincent

in Controlling the Water

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082927
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082247 | DOI:
Social Differentiation and the Politics of Access to Groundwater in North Gujarat

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This chapter discusses the politics of groundwater markets and its interrelation with social differentiation and class–caste relations. Based on an intensive social anthropological study of a village in north Gujarat, it investigates the factors that shaped unrestrained use of groundwater and the responses of various social groups. These factors range from the issues of access and control over productive resources such as land and groundwater, a local ecology that endorsed groundwater development and institutions like groundwater markets, and sharecropping that mediated the change process. The chapter uses a triadic framework of agrarian institutions, ecological variables in agrarian change, and the domain of the state in influencing nature and society. Further, it locates the context of the study in the larger political economy of Gujarat where dominant classes have determined differential class-based access to productive resources through sources of legitimacy and power.

Keywords: goundwater irrigation; borewells; groundwater markets; sharecropping; social differentiation; groundwater ecology; agrarian institutions; agrarian change; irrigation in north Gujarat

Chapter.  10222 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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