University of Surrey

Test tubes in the lab Research in the ATI Dance Research

The Impact of Industrialisation and Urbanisation on Patidar Women in the Kheda District of Gujarat.

Nattress, Pauline R. (1991) The Impact of Industrialisation and Urbanisation on Patidar Women in the Kheda District of Gujarat. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey (United Kingdom)..

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (26MB) | Preview


This study sought to establish the impact of urbanisation and industrialisation on Patidar women in the Kheda district of Gujarat. Participant-observation techniques were used to gather much of the data and this was supplemented by 'informal interviews'. Seventy-two women between the ages of twenty and forty from nine towns and villages were interviewed about their daily routines and social interaction. Fifty-three married women with children under the age of ten from the original sample were further interviewed about more personal areas in their lives. Urban residence had a greater impact on Patidar women than changes in their husbands' occupation. Rural women, whatever their husbands' occupation, were still very influenced by the caste-based values and lifestyles of an agricultural household. There was no very discernible difference in the position of women in paid employment, despite their ability to contribute towards household expenses. The important determinant was control of resources and capital, from which women were precluded by the patriarchal social structure. The study established that urban Patidar women's position and roles changed along two dimensions. The domestic sphere in urban households had declined and Patidar women's power, in that sphere, had diminished as a consequence. Indeed, power and decision making was even more vested in men and the elders in urban areas than in rural areas. But in the 'public domain' Patidar women's roles as demonstrators of status was even more enhanced than in rural areas as urban women took on new responsibilities. In a rural society dominated by caste values, the position of women had been seen as a prime means of reflecting the status of the household and the family, kutumb, and this was particularly evident at the time of marriage. Upward social mobility, within the caste system, could only be achieved by hypergamous marriages of Patidar women to higher status Patidar men. In urban areas, the need to 'reproduce' the household's status in a society less dominated by 'ascribed status' had entailed Patidar women undertaking a more active role in 'status production work'. Moreover, in urban society, women had become even more important in 'demonstrating status' in a wider social arena. This had become apparent with the changing criteria for the selection of marriage partners and the even greater 'conspicuous display' at the time of weddings. Increases in certain forms of dowry payments, in particular, reflected the changing roles of urban Patidar women. The urban Patidar, however, had not rejected a caste based society and urban women's position was still compatible with many features of 'Sanskritization'. But the urban Patidar had also chosen to adopt different markers of status in order to establish the status of the household within an emerging class society, which had a significant impact on urban Patidar women. In this wider status arena, urban Patidar women's status had been enhanced as a reflection of the upward mobility of their household.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Nattress, Pauline R.
Date : 1991
Additional Information : Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Surrey (United Kingdom), 1991.
Depositing User : EPrints Services
Date Deposited : 30 Apr 2019 08:08
Last Modified : 20 Aug 2019 15:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

Information about this web site

© The University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.
+44 (0)1483 300800