Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work

First Advisor

Phillips, Lynne,


Sociology, Social Structure and Development.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The deterioration in the life conditions of poor women in India, particularly in rural areas, is often dismissed as the lack of 'modernity', their experiences being subsumed under 'modernization/integrationist' perspectives. The view taken in this thesis is that the destruction of self-sufficient and self-sustaining means of production under British colonial rule and the post-colonial State has impoverished small-scale peasant households. Under such conditions poor women are bearing the brunt of poverty because they must often undertake various types of work and services in order to ensure the day-to-day survival of their families. The intensification in their workburden, inadequate nutrition, and the burden of bearing many children because of economic necessity as well as the persistence of sexist attitudes is taking a significant toll on the health of poor females. The mortality rates for women are higher during early childhood and childbearing years, and presently India is one of few countries where the female population has decreased significantly in comparison to males. In this thesis it is argued that the brutality of capitalist development and underdevelopment on the lives of women in India is a form of violence; the destruction of the very self upon which capital accumulation is dependent. It is suggested here that in order to develop and/or recover alternative approaches to existing relations of production and reproduction, feminists at the privileged end of the global economic hierarchy can begin by exploring the nature of their own detachment. This can be an important step towards empowerment and the foundation for a sisterhood that is based on co-operation and reciprocity. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .C432. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0507. Adviser: Lynne Phillips. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.