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The love for sons and appropriate clothing

In the third installment of CASI’s 4-part series in The Hindu, we discuss findings from the latest round of the Lok Surveys on questions related to gender. We find that attitudes on the appropriateness of women’s clothing, which we feel to be a measure of social control, are quite different between rural and urban India. The urban, wealthier, and more educated were the least conservative about what women should wear. However, when we examined the preference that respondents have for sons over daughters, levels of son preference did not vary significantly by the income level, education, or rural/urban status of the respondent, highlighting how deeply rooted this attitude remains in Indian society. Read the article “The love for sons and appropriate clothing” by Megan Reed and Devesh Kapur.

The other two parts in the series:

1) “Being Middle Class in India”

2) “Choosing thy Neighbor”

Also read about the Lok Pre-election Survey

Dressing UP


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Choosing thy neighbour

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Read new analysis from the Lok Surveys on social bias in today’s The Hindu. This article comes as the latest installment of a four-part series presenting results from the second round of the Lok Surveys. In the article, CASI’s Post-doctoral Research Fellow Neelanjan Sircar and Research Coordinator Megan Reed discuss findings regarding caste and religious bias in preferences for neighbors. Those identifying as middle class displayed much higher levels of social bias than those who do not. To the extent that the social mobility associated with middle class identification results in people from different identity groups competing for the same jobs and resources, middle class identity, we speculate, may actually amplify rather than attenuate social conflict explaining this difference is reported bias. Read more of the findings in “Choosing thy Neighbour.”

The Lok Surveys are a multi-year panel study sponsored by the Lok Foundation and carried out in collaboration with the Center for the Advanced Study of India (CASI) at the University of Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Lok Surveys aim to track the attitudes of Indians over the next several years, as part of a significant new effort to understand the social and political reconfigurations taking place across India today. CMIE, on behalf of the Lok Foundation, conducted face-to-face interviews of 69,920 randomly selected Indians across 25 states and union territories between January and May 2014. 2011 Read the first article in the series “Being Middle Class in India.” Also read about and view data on the Lok Pre-election Survey.