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Small Town Capitalism in Western India
Artisans, Merchants, and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870–1960

$37.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies in Indian History and Society

  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316649800

$ 37.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book charts the history of artisan production and marketing in the Bombay Presidency from 1870 to 1960. While the textile mills of western India's biggest cities have been the subject of many rich studies, the role of artisan producers located in the region's small towns have been virtually ignored. Based upon extensive archival research as well as numerous interviews with participants in the handloom and powerloom industries, this book explores the role of weavers, merchants, consumers, and laborers in the making of what the author calls "small-town capitalism." By focusing on the politics of negotiation and resistance in local workshops, the book challenges conventional narratives of industrial change. The book provides the first in-depth work on the origins of powerloom manufacture in South Asia. It affords unique insights into the social and economic experience of small-town artisans as well as the informal economy of late colonial and early post-independence India.

    • The first study to demonstrate the importance of the artisan and textile worker in the making of India's small-town economy
    • Represents an important contribution to the social and economic history of late colonial and early independence India
    • A sophisticated and interpretive account by a well-known historian in the field
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Douglas E. Haynes has provided one of the most interesting recent accounts of the history of labor in modern India.' H-Soz-u-Kult

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316649800
    • length: 361 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 30 b/w illus. 2 maps 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The historical and global contexts of artisan production
    2. Consumers, merchants, and markets
    3. Artisanal towns
    4. The organization of production
    5. Small town capitalism and the living standards of artisans
    6. The colonial state and the handloom weaver
    7. The paradox of the Long 1930s
    8. Weaver capitalists and the politics of the workshop, 1940–60.

  • Author

    Douglas E. Haynes, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
    Douglas E. Haynes is Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. He is the author of Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India: The Shaping of a Public Culture in Surat City, 1852–1928 (1991), and co-editor of Contesting Power: Resistance and Everyday Social Relations in South Asia (1992) with Gyan Prakash and of Toward a History of Consumption in South Asia (2010) with Abigail McGowan, Tirthankar Roy and Haruka Yanagisawa.

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