ABSTRACT

This chapter addresses the conflation and overlapping of various social identities. Caste is a form of social organisation which, while having experienced a number of changes due to modernisation and urbanisation, is still a dominant part of social, economic and political life today not only in Amritsar but in the rest of India. While Amritsar is not a city which has experienced rapid urbanisation in its recent history due to its historical decline in comparison to other South Asian cities such as Ludhiana, Karachi and Delhi, migration nevertheless plays a significant role in the social make-up of the low-income settlements taken in the sample. Economic and social indicators of poor households, as exhibited in these studies, are directly affected by the amount of income available for expenditure upon reproductive development of the household. The opportunities for wage employment as agricultural labourers are seasonal and highly discriminatory in the level of wages paid.