Migration, village sociality, and mistrust: An exploration

Ritambhara Hebbar


This article examines the phenomenon of migration in India’s villages. Drawing on research in Jharkhand and Maharashtra and selected village ethnographies it illustrates how migration shapes village histories, politics, and socialities. It presents a synoptic analysis of the dominant sociological and anthropological theories concerning the category “village” in India to reflect critically on the absence of a comprehensive framework that captures the intricacies of village life and sociality engendered by migration. Migration narratives enfold lived experiences of caste, class, kinship, and gender that betray the sense of community and assuredness associated with the category “village.” In this context, I propose “mistrust” as an appropriate concept to grasp the contemporariness of India’s villages.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/725322