Lecture Notes: Staffan Lindberg’s Tamil Nadu Village Resurvey

Lindberg is a Professor Emeritus in the sociology department of Lund University. From his research profile: "My research is about social change in rural India with a special focus on how social stratification (caste and class) is changing during the last 50 years. I also focus on how farmers organise and are organised in the period after the Green Revolution and with increasing commercialisation of agriculture." He gave a lecture at Madras University on 19 Jan 2016 where I learned about a paper he worked on titled Changing Social and Political Relations in the Kaveri Delta (2016) along with Venkatesh Athreya, R. Vidyasagar, A. Rajagopal and G. Djurfeldt. Six villages were a part of this survey – 3 were wet and 3 were dry.

Explanation of terms: Wet village means perennial source of water and Dry village means that its rain-fed.

According to Lindberg, wet villages tend to have more landed households and dry villages tend to have more landless labourers.

Wet and Dry Villages – Households by Family type

The survey seems to suggest that in Wet villages, nuclear families (as commonly predicted) are on the rise. But in dry villages, where there are more landless labourers, joint or extended families are growing. This might mean that the typical urbanisation processes are taking place in the wet villages. Dry villages might be heading the opposite direction because of the need for more family farming.

Wet and Dry Villages – Households by Caste

There has been a thickening of the intermediate of the castes. In wet villages, there has been a substantial upper caste depopulation with that slack in percentage going to the intermediate castes. In dry villages, SC or Dalit households have decreased with intermediate castes increasing.