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Social capital and the development process: a case study on occupational change in coastal South India

Weber, Eberhard (2008) Social capital and the development process: a case study on occupational change in coastal South India. UNSPECIFIED.

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On December 2004 a devastating tsunami triggered by an earthquake west of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra brought much misery to the nations around the Indian Ocean. Vast parts of South & South East Asian were very badly affected and very serious damage was reported in India,[Including Andaman & Nicobar Islands], Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh. The tsunami waves even reached the African continent and caused much damage as far as the East African states Somalia, Tanzania and Kenya. More than 300,000 lives were lost and several million people put at risk of sliding into even more poverty. Particularly the coastal fishing communities all over the region were severely effected by this disaster. Not only did they suffer enormous losses in human lives also their means of production were damaged / destroyed and thus their sources of livelihood. Alone for India it is estimated that about 404 million US$ is needed to replace / repair more than 56,000 fishing boats that were damaged / destroyed in the tsunami (World Bank 2005). A crucial question is how the fishermen should be compensated, and what direction future fishery policies should take. A number of stakeholder in the sector see the destruction of the tsunami as a change to wipe out mistakes of the past and establish a coastal fisheries sector that is more sustainable than it had been during the decades prior to the tsunami. However until now it is unclear how groups in society are included in these efforts that were indirectly effected by the tsunami, such as landless agricultural laborers as well as fish-workers. The paper takes the tsunami in the Indian Ocean as a starting point to reflect on social and economic changes in South Indian fishing communities over the past 50 years. It elaborates on the processes that led to an improvement in the economic and social situation of artisan fisherpeople in the 1970s, and investigates why social and economic decline has happened since then (Weber 1995). Most emphasis will be given to institutional and technological changes as well as the importance of social capital in the development process. The research project looks into issues of disaster management, social and occupational change and social capital as a recent approach in the development debate. While the empirical results document changes in a South Indian fishing community over the past 50 years, its theoretical implications are highly relevant to any place in mainly the developing world where policy makers are looking for answers how people deal with risk, marginalization and vulnerability. The research project investigates what kind of external intervention helps vulnerable sections of society to cope better with adverse structures, processes and situations.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: India, artisanal fisheries, social capital
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2014 03:09
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2014 03:09

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