Status, caste, and market in a changing Indian village

Vikas, Ram Manohar, Varman, Rohit and Belk, Russell W. 2015, Status, caste, and market in a changing Indian village, Journal of consumer research, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 472-498, doi: 10.1093/jcr/ucv038.

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Title Status, caste, and market in a changing Indian village
Author(s) Vikas, Ram Manohar
Varman, Rohit
Belk, Russell W.
Journal name Journal of consumer research
Volume number 42
Issue number 3
Start page 472
End page 498
Total pages 27
Publisher Oxford University Press
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 0093-5301
Keyword(s) status
symbolic power
Summary When social and economic conditions change dramatically, status hierarchies in place for hundreds of years can crumble as marketization destabilizes once rigid boundaries. This study examines such changes in symbolic power through an ethnographic study of a village in North India. Marketization and accompanying privatization do not create an independent sphere where only money matters, but due to a mix of new socioeconomic motives, they produce new social obligations, contests, and solidarities. These findings call into question the emphasis in consumer research on top-down class emulation as an essential characteristic of status hierarchies. This study offers insights into sharing as a means of enacting and reshaping symbolic power within a status hierarchy. A new order based on markets and consumption is disrupting the old order based on caste. As the old moral order dissolves, so do the old status hierarchies, obligations, dispositions, and norms of sharing that held the village together for centuries. In the microcosm of these gains and losses, we may see something of the broader social and economic changes taking place throughout India and other industrializing countries.
Language eng
DOI 10.1093/jcr/ucv038
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 200203 Consumption and Everyday Life
1505 Marketing
1506 Tourism
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 910403 Marketing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Oxford University Press
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Department of Marketing
2018 ERA Submission
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