Waste recycling and the household economy: the case of the Pune Waste-pickers' response to the changing 'rules of the game'

Patrick Kilby

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    The deep-rooted connections between the informal economy and the household economy have long been recognized and are emphasized in international development thinking in relation to issues such as microfinance/enterprise. This chapter is concerned with exploring the relationship between the household and the informal economy though an examination of the issue of waste-picking and drawing attention to how recent changes to the organization of this activity in Pune, India, are having significant repercussions in terms of the structures of caste and gender that underpin this form of work. Unlike some of the other chapters in this volume (notably Elias, Broadbent), this is not a straightforward examination of the intensified exploitation of the household economy under conditions of neoliberal globalization. Rather, attention is drawn to another aspect associated with 'globalization': rising community standards and expectations regarding the management and need for clean urban environments. Thus the imposition of standards regarding the removal of household waste have served as a catalyst for marginalized female Dalit workers - enabling them to respond to the changing 'rules of the game' through self-organizing and processes of professionalization. For sure, these changing rules of the game do constitute the increased marketization of household refuse collection.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe global political economy of the household in Asia
    EditorsJuanita Elias and Samanthi J. Gunawardana
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd
    Pages211-226
    Volume1
    Edition1
    ISBN (Print)9781137338891
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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