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    Increasing consumption, decreasing support: a multi-generational study of family relations among South Indian Chakkliyars

    Vera-Sanso, Penny (2007) Increasing consumption, decreasing support: a multi-generational study of family relations among South Indian Chakkliyars. Contributions to Indian Sociology 41 (2), pp. 225-248. ISSN 0069-9667.

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    Abstract

    This article looks at intergenerational relations in two Chakkliyar neighbourhoods in rural Tamil Nadu. Post-1991 economic changes, together with longer-term changes in the rural economy and state policies, have significantly widened the customary ‘needs gap’ between younger and older generations by expanding the needs and aspirations of younger generations both absolutely and in comparison to the perceived needs of older people, whilst not providing them with the means to meet those needs. The declining demand for agricultural labour has not only constrained sons’ capacities to meet the needs of both their conjugal and natal families, but also severely undermined older people's livelihoods as they compete with younger people for agricultural work. The cause of the elderly Chakkliyars’ tenuous subsistence lies not with negligent sons but with the way their vulnerabilities are built into the structure of the economy, society and polity.

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