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Human Rights as PracticeDalit Women Securing Livelihood Entitlements in South India$
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Jayshree P. Mangubhai

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198095453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198095453.001.0001

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Situating Dalit Women Within Rights and Development

(p.1) Introduction
Human Rights as Practice

Jayshree P. Mangubhai

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the dialectics of structural violence, resulting in Dalit women’s chronic resource deprivation, and their collective agency to secure livelihood resources as entitlements. It shows that these dialectics, when located within prevailing discourses on poverty reduction, development, and human rights, raise questions regarding current approaches to development. The reality of structural non-implementation of rights arising from complex power configurations in specific socio-historical contexts demands a more contextual and actor-oriented approach. The focus thus shifts to how excluded and discriminated social groups are able to transform power relations in claiming the livelihood resources to which they feel justly entitled. In doing so, they give meaning to human rights. The examination of micro-political processes necessitates primarily qualitative, ethnographic methods, enabling the production of case studies of Dalit women’s livelihood struggles.

Keywords:   livelihood resource deprivation, collective agency, poverty discourse, development discourse, power relations, entitlements, research methodology

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