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In summer 2013, Chris traveled to East Africa to teach business at the University of Finance and Banking in Rwanda. Chris took these experiences and lessons learned back home to his business partner, Tom Hartford. Seven of nineteen proposed social studies textbooks in Texas distort climate science and climate change, a report by the National Center for Science Education found on Monday. Textbooks proposed by both Pearson and McGraw Hill, two of the largest educational material publishers in the country, suggest that scientists are divided on what causes climate change. The McGraw Hill textbook also gives the opinions of two employees from a conservative think tank equal weight to the findings of actual scientists. The National Center for Science Education found other inaccuracies in how proposed textbooks teach climate science.
If these proposed textbooks are accepted with the inaccurate information they contain, it could affect more than just Texan students.
The question over whether to include content that questions climate change is an issue that has arisen in other states. The post Report: Proposed Texas Textbooks Deny The Truth About Climate Change appeared first on ThinkProgress. Change and Development in Rural Society 4 Social Change and Development in India 56 I ndian society is primarily a rural society though urbanisation is growing. He came up with a model of collecting used post-secondary textbooks from previous students, in order to sell them back to other students looking for affordable alternatives to existing purchasing platforms. During this time, he realized first-hand that these students did not have access to the same quality educational material that students enjoy here in Canada. In January 2014, they launched Textbooks for Change into a sustainable and scalable venture that created an impact across the world. Within five years, we hope to donate over one million textbooks to African universities to impact millions of students and donate over two million dollars to socially purposed student clubs.
We believe that students should not be deprived of quality educational resources based on socioeconomic status or geographic location.
After California, Texas is the largest textbook market in the country, and publishers sell the Texas version of textbooks in many states.
In June, a Pennsylvania school board rejected a proposal to include material that would question the existence of climate change in a textbook. Libraries were essentially bare and multiple students would be required to share a single photocopied textbook. They do not agree on what is causing the change,” asking if it is “just another natural warming cycle like so many cycles that have occurred in the past? Earlier this year, Wyoming and Oklahoma rejected parts of new national science education standards due to the inclusion of the human impact of global warming.
Janssen then began to brainstorm ways to increase the impact an initiative like this one could create. A majority of American adults say that there is solid evidence that climate change is occurring, and a plurality say its from human activity.
Many activities that support agriculture and village life are also sources of livelihood for people in rural India.
For example, a large number of artisans such as potters, carpenters, weavers, ironsmiths, and goldsmiths are found in rural areas.
You have already read in Chapter 1 how the influx of manufactured goods replaced hand-made products. Rural life also supported many other specialists and crafts persons as story- tellers, astrologers, priests, water-distributors, and oil-pressers.
The diversity Change and Development in Rural Society 57 of occupations in rural India was reflected in the caste system, which in most regions included specialist and ?service? But increasing interconnection of the rural and urban economies have led to many diverse occupations.
Many people living in rural areas are employed in, or have livelihoods based in, rural non-farm activities.
For instance, there are rural residents employed in government services such as the Postal and Education Departments, factory workers, or in the army, who earn their living through non- agricultural activities. ACTIVITY 4.1 ? Think of an important festival that is celebrated in your region that has its roots in agrarian society.
What is the significance of the various practices or rituals that are associated with that festival, and how are they linked to agriculture?
Can you identify an area of the city or town where you live that used to be a village, or areas that were once agricultural land?
How do you think this growth takes place, and what happens to the people who used to make a living from that land? In fact, the distribution of landholdings in most regions is highly unequal among households.
This means that they are dependent on agricultural labour or other kinds of work for their livelihoods. In most regions of India, women are usually excluded from ownership of land, because of the prevailing patrilineal kinship system and mode of inheritance. In reality they only have limited rights and some access to land only as part of a household headed by a man. The term agrarian structure is often used to refer to the structure or distribution of landholding.
Because agricultural land is the most important productive resource in rural areas, access to land shapes the rural class structure. Access to land largely determines what role one plays in the process of agricultural production.
Medium and large landowners are usually able to earn sufficient or even large incomes from cultivation (although this depends on agricultural prices, which can fluctuate greatly, as well as other factors such as the monsoon).
But agricultural labourers are more often than not paid below the statutory minimum wage and earn very little. Similarly, tenants (cultivators who lease their land from landowners) have lower incomes than owner-cultivators. And that there is a correspondence between caste and class as one moves down the hierarchy. For instance, in most areas the highest caste, the Brahmins, are not major landowners, and so they fall outside the agrarian structure although they are a part of rural society. In most regions of India, Change and Development in Rural Society 59 the major landowning groups belong to the upper castes. In each region, there are usually just one or two major landowning castes, who are also numerically very important. In each region, the dominant caste is the most powerful group, economically and politically, and dominates local society. While dominant landowning groups are usually middle or high ranked castes, most of the marginal farmers and landless belong to lower caste groups. This also created a labour force that allowed the landowners to cultivate the land intensively and get higher returns. The rough correspondence between caste and class means that typically the upper and middle castes also had the best access to land and resources, and hence to power and privilege. Until recently, practices such as begar or free labour were prevalent in many parts of northern India.


In a village of northern Bihar, the majority of the landowners are Bhumihars, who are also the dominant caste.
BOX 4.1There is a direct correspondence between agricultural productivity and the agrarian structure.
In areas of assured irrigation, those with plentiful rainfall or artificial irrigation works (such as rice-growing regions in river deltas, for instance the Kaveri basin in Tamil Nadu) more labour was needed for intensive cultivation. But it is important to realise that this agrarian structure has changed enormously over time, from the pre-colonial to the colonial and after independence.
While the same dominant castes were probably also cultivating castes in the pre-colonial period, they were not the direct owners of land. Instead, ruling groups such as the local kings or zamindars (landlords who were also politically powerful in their areas, and usually belonged to Kshatriya or other high castes) controlled the land. The peasants or cultivators who worked the land had to hand over a substantial portion of the produce to them.
Since the colonisers also imposed heavy land revenue (taxes) on agriculture, the zamindars extracted as much produce or money as they could out of the cultivators. One result of this zamindari system was that agricultural production stagnated or declined during much of the period of British rule.
For peasants fled from oppressive landlords and frequent famines and wars decimated the population.
In other areas that were under direct British rule had what was called the raiyatwari system of land settlement (raiyat means cultivator in Telugu). Because the colonial government dealt directly with the farmers or landlords, rather than through the overlords, the burden of taxation was less and cultivators had more incentive to invest in agriculture.
Well-to-do farmers who had access to land, capital, technology, and know-how, and those who could invest in the new seeds and fertilisers, could increase their production and earn more money. For landowners began to take back land from their tenants and cultivate it directly because cultivation was becoming more profitable.
This made the rich farmers better off, and worsened the condition of the landless and marginal holders. In addition, the introduction of machinery such as tillers, tractors, threshers, and harvesters (in areas such as Punjab and parts of Madhya Pradesh) led to the displacement of the service caste groups who used to carry out these agriculture-related activities.
The ultimate outcome of the Green Revolution was a process of ?differentiation?, in which the rich grew richer and many of the poor stagnated or grew poorer. It should be noted that employment and wages for agricultural workers did increase in many areas, because the demand for labour increased.
Moreover, rising prices and a shift in the mode of payment of agricultural workers from payment in kind (grain) to cash, actually worsened the economic condition of most rural workers. Following the first phase of the Green Revolution, the second phase is currently being introduced in the dry and semi-arid regions of India. In these areas there has been a significant shift from dry to wet (irrigated) cultivation, along with changes in the cropping pattern and type of crops grown. Increasing commercialisation and dependence on the market in these areas (for instance, where cotton cultivation has been promoted) has increased rather than reduced livelihood insecurity, as farmers who once grew food for consumption now depend on the market for the incomes. In market-oriented cultivation, especially where a single crop is grown, a fall in prices or a bad crop can spell financial ruin for farmers.
In most of the Green Revolution areas, farmers have switched from a multi-crop system, which allowed them to spread risks, to a mono-crop regime, which means that there is nothing to fall back on in case of crop failure.
Another negative outcome of the Green Revolution strategy was the worsening of regional inequalities .
The areas that underwent this technological transformation became more developed while other areas stagnated.
The sharp caste and class inequalities, together with exploitative labour relations, in these regions has given rise to various kinds of violence (including inter-caste violence) in recent years. We should remember that Indian farmers have been cultivating the land for centuries, much before the advent of the Green Revolution.
They have very deep and extensive traditional knowledge about the land they till and the crops they sow.
Much of this knowledge, like the many traditional varieties of seeds that were developed over the centuries by farmers, is being lost as hybrid, high-yielding, and genetically modified varieties of seeds are being promoted as more productive and ?scientific?
In view of the negative environmental and social impact of modern methods of cultivation that have been observed, a number of scientists as well as farmers? Many rural people themselves believe that hybrid varieties are less healthy than the traditional ones.
4.4 TRANSFORMATIONS IN RURAL SOCIETY AFTER INDEPENDENCE Several profound transformations in the nature of social relations in rural areas took place in the post-Independence period, especially in those regions that underwent the Green Revolution. The change in the nature of the relationship between landlords (who usually belonged to the dominant castes) and agricultural workers (usually low caste), was described by the sociologist Jan Breman as a shift from ?patronage to BOX 4.2Local commentary increasingly contrasts the sampurna (wholeness) of the organic produce with that of the hybrid produce.
An elderly woman, Bhargawa Hugar, in the village of Madbhavi, said: What?they used to grow some wheat, red sorghum?plant a few tubers, chilli plants?cotton. Such changes took place in many areas where agriculture was becoming more commercialised, that is, where crops were being grown primarily for sale in the market.
The transformation in labour relations is regarded by some scholars as indicative of a transition to capitalist agriculture. Because the capitalist mode of production is based on the separation of the workers from the means of production (in this case, land), and the use of ?free? In general, it is true that farmers in the more developed regions were becoming more oriented to the market.
As cultivation became more commercialised these rural areas were also becoming integrated into the wider economy. This process increased the flow of money into villages and expanding opportunities for business and employment.
But we should remember that this process of transformation in the rural economy in fact began during the colonial period.
In many regions in the 19th century large tracts of land in Maharashtra were given over to cotton cultivation, and cotton farmers became directly linked to the world market.
However, the pace and spread of change rapidly increased after Independence, as the government promoted modern methods of cultivation and attempted to modernise the rural economy through other strategies.
The state invested in the development of rural infrastructure, such as irrigation facilities, roads, and electricity, and on the provision of agricultural inputs, including credit through banks and cooperatives.
Cultivation in different parts of the country Social Change and Development in India 66 One way in which rural social structure was altered by agricultural development in the 1960s and 1970s was through the enrichment of the medium and large farmers who adopted the new technologies, discussed in the previous section. In several agriculturally rich regions, such as coastal Andhra Pradesh, western Uttar Pradesh, and central Gujarat, well-to-do farmers belonging to the dominant castes began to invest their profits from agriculture in other types of business ventures. This process of diversification gave rise to new entrepreneurial groups that moved out of rural areas and into the growing towns of these developing regions, giving rise to new regional elites that became economically as well as politically dominant (Rutten 1995). Along with this change in the class structure, the spread of higher education, especially private professional colleges, in rural and semi-urban areas, allowed the new rural elites to educate their children ? Thus, in areas of rapid agricultural development there has been a consolidation of the old landed or cultivating groups, who have transformed themselves into a dynamic entrepreneurial, rural-urban dominant class. In contrast, states such as Kerala have Changing technologies in agriculture undergone a different process of development, in which political mobilisation, redistributive measures, and linkages to an external economy (primarily the Gulf countries) have brought about a substantial transformation of the rural countryside.
Far from the rural being primarily agrarian, the rural in Kerala is a mixed economy that integrates some agriculture with a wide network of retail sales and services, and where a large number of families are dependent on remittances from abroad. Labourers migrate also due to the increasing inequalities in rural areas from the mid-1990s, which have forced many households to combine multiple occupations to sustain themselves.


As a livelihood strategy, men migrate out periodically in search of work and better wages, while women and children are often left behind in their villages with elderly grandparents. Breman?s (1985) study shows, to the contrary, that landless workers do not have many rights, for instance, they are usually not paid the minimum wage. It should be noted here that wealthy farmers often prefer to employ migrant workers for harvesting and other such intensive operations, rather than the local working class, because migrants are more easily exploited and can be paid lower wages. This preference has produced a peculiar pattern in some areas where the local landless labourers move out of the home villages in search of work during the peak agricultural seasons, while migrant workers are brought in from other areas to work on the local farms.
Migration and lack of job security have created very poor working and living conditions for these workers.
It is located in Yakkar Village, 3 kilometres from Palakkad district town Social Change and Development in India 68 The largescale circulation of labour has had several significant effects on rural society, in both the receiving and the supplying regions. For instance, in poor areas where male family members spend much of the year working outside of their villages, cultivation has become primarily a female task. Women are also emerging as the main source of agricultural labour, leading to the ?feminisation of agricultural labour force.?
The insecurity of women is greater because they earn lower wages than men for similar work.
While women toil on the land as landless labourers and as cultivators, the prevailing patrilineal kinship system, and other cultural practices that privilege male rights, largely exclude women from land ownership. 4.6 GLOBALISATION, LIBERALISATION, AND RURAL SOCIETY The policy of liberalisation that India has been following since the late 1980s have had a very significant impact on agriculture and rural society. The policy entails participation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which aims to bring about a more free international trading system and requires the opening up of Indian markets to imports. After decades of state support and protected markets, Indian farmers have been exposed to competition from the global market.
For instance, we have all seen imported fruits and other food items on the shelves of our local stores ? Recently, India has also decided to import wheat, a controversial decision that reverses the earlier policy of self-reliance in foodgrains. And bring back bitter memories of dependencey on American foodgrains in the early years after Independence. These are indicators of the process of globalisation of agriculture, or the incorporation of agriculture into the larger global market ? For instance, in some regions such as Punjab and Karnataka, farmers enter into contracts with multinational companies (such as PepsiCo) to grow certain crops (suchRetail in rural areas Change and Development in Rural Society 69 as tomatoes and potatoes), which the companies then buy from them for processing or export. In return, the farmer is assured of a market because the company guarantees that it will purchase the produce at a predetermined fixed price. Contract farming is very common now in the production of specialised items such as cut flowers, fruits such as grapes, figs and pomegranates, cotton, and oilseeds.
While contract farming appears to provide financial security to farmers, it can also lead to greater insecurity as farmers become dependent on these companies for their livelihoods.
Contract farming of export-oriented products such as flowers and gherkins also means that agricultural land is diverted away from food grain production.
Contract farming has sociological significance in that it disengages many people from the production process and makes their own indigenous knowledge of agriculture irrelevant. In addition, contract farming caters primarily to the production of elite items, and because it usually requires high doses of fertilisers and pesticides, it is often not ecologically sustainable.
Farming of Flowers Another, and more widespread aspect of the globalisation of agriculture is the entry of multinationals into this sector as sellers of agricultural inputs such as seeds, pesticides, and fertilisers. Over the last decade or so, the government has scaled down its agricultural development programmes, and ?agricultural extension? These agents are often the sole source of information for farmers about new seeds or cultivation practices, and of course they have an interest in selling their products. This has led to the increased dependence of farmers on expensive fertilisers and pesticides, which has reduced their profits, put many farmers into debt, and also created an ecological crisis in rural areas. Sociologists have attempted to explain this phenomenon by looking at the structural and social changes that have been occurring in agriculture and agrarian society. Such suicides have become ?matrix events?, that is, a range of factors coalesce together to form an event. Many of the farmers who have committed suicides were marginal farmers who were attempting to increase their productivity, primarily by practising green revolution methods.
However, undertaking such production meant facing several risks: the cost of production has increased tremendously due to a decrease in agricultural subsidies, the markets are not stable, and many farmers borrow heavily in order to invest in expensive inputs and improve their production. The loss of either the crop (due to spread of disease or pests, excessive rainfall, or drought), and in some cases the lack of an adequate support or market price, means that farmers are unable to bear the debt burden or sustain their families. Such distress is compounded by the changing culture in rural areas in which increased incomes are required for marriages, dowries, and to sustain new activities and expenses such as education and medical care (Vasavi 1999a).
Agriculture for many is becoming untenable, and state support for agriculture has declined substantially. In addition, agricultural issues are no longer key public issues, and lack of mobilisation means that agriculturists are unable to form powerful pressure groups that can influence policy making in their favour. According to official statistics, there have been 8,900 suicides by farmers between 2001 and 2006 in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra (Suri 2006:1523). Read the passage given and answer the questions: The harsh working conditions suffered by labourers in Aghanbigha were an outcome of the combined effect of the economic power of the maliks as a class and their overwhelming power as members of a dominant caste. A significant aspect of the social power of the maliks was their ability to secure the intervention of various arms of the state to advance their interests. Thus, political factors decissively contributed to widening the gulf between the dominant class and the underclass. Why do you think the maliks were able to use the power of the state to advance their own interests? What measures do you think the government has taken, or should take, to protect the rights of landless agricultural labourers and migrant workers?
There are direct linkages between the situation of agricultural workers and their lack of upward socio-economic mobility. What are the different factors that have enabled certain groups to transform themselves into new wealthy, entrepreneurial, dominant classes?
Think of a film set in rural India and describe the agrarian society and culture that is shown in it. Visit a construction site in your neighbourhood, a brickyard, or other such place where you are likely to find migrant workers.
If they are from rural areas, find out about their lives in their villages and why they have to migrate to find work. Find out what has happened to the prices of local products after fruits began to be imported from outside of India (such as apples from Australia). Hybrid Times, Hybrid People: Culture and Agriculture in South India, Man, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society.



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