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Social Exclusion from Development Programmes: A study on different castes of West Bengal

Sen, Sugata (2015): Social Exclusion from Development Programmes: A study on different castes of West Bengal.

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Indian society is characterized by multiple forms of exclusion associated with group identities. This work wants to examine the nature and dimensions of social exclusion from development programmes in the Indian state of West Bengal on the basis of various castes and to analyze the factors behind. It is tested here whether there exists any relationship between different castes and level of social exclusion, and that between intra-group heterogeneity and group social exclusion values. Both secondary and primary data have been used. Sample of 320 households was chosen through multi-stage stratified random sampling. In a three dimension exclusion space of health, education and income the household level social exclusion is measured by Normalized Euclidean Distance. Calculated value is regressed on caste characteristics of the sample households. Tukey Post Hoc study is undertaken to judge the inter-group differences. Generalized Entropy Index is used to study the intra-group concentration of the households with respect to social exclusion level within different castes. It is observed that social exclusion becomes significant for scheduled tribe (ST) community. The intensity of social exclusion of ST is significantly different from others. Among all the castes ST has the highest within group concentration with respect to household level social exclusion values. The concentration of household level social exclusion values within any caste increases with the rise in corresponding group mean social exclusion values. In West Bengal social exclusion on the basis of caste arises out of some strong historical informal norms. Indigenous culture of different communities is also one of the major reasons behind their exclusion. The strong current of global convergence has also failed to bring the excluded to a level playing field. The inverse relationship between group social exclusion value and within group heterogeneity and its implications on policy measures are unique in the discourses on social exclusion.

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