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Writing LabourStone Quarry Workers in Delhi$
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Mohammad Talib

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780198067719

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067719.001.0001

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Dots on the Stones 1

Dots on the Stones 1

Personal Profiles

Chapter:
(p.131) 4 Dots on the Stones1
Source:
Writing Labour
Author(s):

Mohammad Talib

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067719.003.0005

This chapter presents four case profiles of stone quarry workers in Delhi. These profiles, based on workers' oral accounts, suggest that there is no ‘pure’ social category of free workers, who exchange their only possession — their labour — for a wage to eke out subsistence. Instead, the workers featured in this chapter are people who may be living in families or households and, sometimes, in a state of indebtedness that curtails their freedom. The workers' personal profiles reveal what each worker considered to be most significant and specific about life in the stone quarry workers' community. The profiles contain elements of quiescence and protest, hope and despair. All four profiles point to a remarkable consistency in the workers' collective experience of poverty.

Keywords:   personal profiles, labour, indebtedness, quiescence, hope, protest, despair, poverty

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