"...[T]hrough close ethnographic work, the authors throw new light on larger debates about development, education and employment in India, and raise important issues and questions that demand further exploration and debate by sociologists and policymakers alike."
Economic & Political Weekly
"The focus on masculinity, education, modernity, and social status among rural young men in northern India highlights the problems with education in India. The authors explore the mindset of those for whom rural education is a system that often fails, demonstrating a volatile mix of disenfranchisement on the one hand and underemployment on the other."
Susan S. Wadley, Syracuse University
"The book is important for both academics and policy makers: 'we question accounts of education as an unproblematic social good within development academia'. Not quite the condemnation of education as causing the problem, but a warning that education on its own will not achieve its goals, and that with some people in some contexts, it can have its 'dark side'."
Alan Rogers, University of East Anglia
Education, Unemployment and Masculinities in India re-evaluates debates on education, modernity, and social change in contemporary development studies and anthropology. Education is widely imputed with the capacity to transform the prospects of the poor. But in the context of widespread unemployment in rural north India, it is better understood as a contradictory resource, providing marginalized youth with certain freedoms but also drawing them more tightly into systems of inequality.
The book advances this argument through detailed case studies of educated but unemployed or underemployed young men in rural western Uttar Pradesh. This book draws on fourteen months' ethnographic research with young men from middle caste Hindu, Muslim, and ex-Untouchable backgrounds. In addition to offering a new perspective on how education affects the rural poor in South Asia, Education, Unemployment and Masculinities in India includes in-depth reflection on the politics of modernity, changing rural masculinities, and caste and communal politics.
Craig Jeffrey is Associate Professor in Geography and International Studies at the University of Washington. He has published widely, including papers in World Development, Modern Asian Studies, Annals of the Association of American Geographers and Development and Change.
Patricia Jeffery is Professor of Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her recent books include (with Roger Jeffery) Don’t Marry Me to a Plowman: Women’s Everyday Lives in Rural North India (Westview Press and Vistaar, 1996).
Roger Jeffery is Professor of Sociology of South Asia at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His recent books include (with Patricia Jeffery) Population, Gender and Politics:Demographic Change in Rural North India (Cambridge University Press, 1997).