Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Social developments in the Indian countryside are not benefiting daughters

18.03.2009
There have been great economic and social advances in India in recent years. Despite this, millions of girl foetuses are aborted because they are the "wrong sex".

Daughters are not rejected simply due to old traditions, but also because the changes in society do not leave any room for girls, says Mattias Larsen who is presenting his thesis at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

According to culturally conditioned conceptions it is necessary to have sons, above all to provide care in old age. In combination with the major social changes, this leads to girls being rejected, says Mattias Larsen, who has researched the problem in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

Earlier research has shown abortions of unwanted daughters in India to be a problem that has emerged in recent years - despite tangible economic and social progress. Traditionally sons in India have had the responsibility of taking care of their parents when they get old.

This" contract" between the generations is a fundamental social institution in India. It binds generations together and shapes large parts of the social life, says Mattias Larsen.

Sons guarantee a secure old age

However, in line with economic developments, increasing numbers of young men are leaving agriculture behind in the countryside and migrating to cities that are undergoing rapid economic development. And this is also causing an important part of the traditional social safety net to break up. To guarantee their security in old age it is even more important for parents to have a son who they know will take care of them.

Most of the new economic opportunities outside agriculture are benefiting young men who are becoming more and more independent, thus leading to the traditional agreement becoming increasingly untenable. Paradoxically, in order to salvage the only available option for provision of care in old age, parents are compelled to concentrate more on their sons and to reject daughters, says Mattias Larsen.

The rapid economic development has also led to many instances in the countryside of greater demands for dowries and financial contributions in conjunction with marriage, reinforcing the view of daughters as a burden.

Even though there has been rapid economic development with increased prosperity within agriculture, opportunities for self determination for women have not advanced. This has led to dowry problems in villages were it was not previously a problem, says Mattias Larsen.

The thesis is based on research in the state of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. Mattias Larsen has compared eight villages through 55 interviews, 8 group discussions and a questionnaire consisting of 477 households.

Title of the thesis: Vulnerable Daughters in Times of Change: Emerging Contexts of Discrimination in Himachal Pradesh, India

E-link: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19119

Author of the thesis: Mattias Larsen, tel: +43 6764903038,
e-mail:.mattias.larsen@globalstudies.gu.se
Name of faculty opponent: Professor Ravinder Kaur, IIT Delhi, India
Time and venue for the public defence: Friday 13 March 2009 at 13.15, Lecture theatre 220, Annedalsseminariet

Campus Linné, Seminariegatan 1, Gothenburg, Sweden

BY: Lena Olson
lena.olson@samfak.gu.se
+46 31-786 4841

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/19119

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

nachricht Sibling differences: Later-borns choose less prestigious programs at university
14.11.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>