Masculinity, modernity and bonded labour: continuity and change amongst the Kamaiya of Kailali district, far-west Nepal

Maycock, Matthew William (2012) Masculinity, modernity and bonded labour: continuity and change amongst the Kamaiya of Kailali district, far-west Nepal. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis is a study of Kamaiya masculinities in the context of the Kamaiya recently having been freed from a system of bonded labour, in Kailali district of Nepal’s far-­‐
western Terai. The Kamaiya are a sub-­‐group of the wider Tharu indigenous ethnic group. Prior to 2000, the majority of the Kamaiya were bonded labourers. In 2000 the Kamaiya system of bonded labour was formally ended. The
main purpose of this thesis is to explore various aspects of
Kamaiya masculinities as they are changing as a consequence of the transition to freedom. This is a context
shaped to a great extent by the recent Maoist People’s War
The main contribution this thesis makes is to scholarship on
masculinities in South Asia as well as transitions from bonded labour to modernity. In focusing on Kamaiya masculinities following freedom, this thesis contributes to research that explicitly considers masculinities in development studies research. Considering masculinities as the focus of study illustrates how men’s gendered experiences of bondedness and freedom constitute an illuminating perspective on these transitions and modernity
more broadly.
Centrally, this thesis responds to the question: what happens to masculinities following freedom from a system of bonded labour? This is not a question that appears to have been asked within existing research on bonded labour generally, as well as research on the Kamaiya system specifically. This question is answered by exploring
a variety of ethnographic material collected through two periods of fieldwork in Kailali district in 2009 and 2010. Fieldwork was focused generating the material for analysis through ethnographic methods, principally interviews and participant observation. These methods were focused on men’s experience and testimony of the Kamaiya system, the transition to freedom and post-­‐freedom experiences. This thesis is based on in-­‐depth studies of six Kamaiya men and their narratives of these transitions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
Depositing User: Users 2593 not found.
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2013 13:38
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2013 14:25


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