Small Town Capitalism in Western India

Small Town Capitalism in Western India : Artisans, Merchants and the Making of the Informal Economy, 1870-1960

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This book charts the history of artisan production and marketing in the Bombay Presidency from 1870 to 1960. While the textile mills of western India's biggest cities have been the subject of many rich studies, the role of artisan producers located in the region's small towns have been virtually ignored. Based upon extensive archival research as well as numerous interviews with participants in the handloom and powerloom industries, this book explores the role of weavers, merchants, consumers and laborers in the making of what the author calls 'small-town capitalism'. By focusing on the politics of negotiation and resistance in local workshops, the book challenges conventional narratives of industrial change. The book provides the first in-depth work on the origins of powerloom manufacture in South Asia. It affords unique insights into the social and economic experience of small-town artisans as well as the informal economy of late colonial and early post-independence more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 30 b/w illus. 2 maps 12 tables
  • 1139210424
  • 9781139210423

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. The historical and global contexts of artisan production; 2. Consumers, merchants, and markets; 3. Artisanal towns; 4. The organization of production; 5. Small town capitalism and the living standards of artisans; 6. The colonial state and the handloom weaver; 7. The paradox of the Long 1930s; 8. Weaver capitalists and the politics of the workshop, more

Review quote

'Douglas E. Haynes has provided one of the most interesting recent accounts of the history of labor in modern India.' H-Soz-u-Kultshow more

About Douglas E. Haynes

Douglas E. Haynes is Associate Professor of History at Dartmouth College. He is the author of Rhetoric and Ritual in Colonial India: The Shaping of a Public Culture in Surat City, 1852-1928 (1991), and co-editor of Contesting Power: Resistance and Everyday Social Relations in South Asia (1992) with Gyan Prakash and of Toward a History of Consumption in South Asia (2010) with Abigail McGowan, Tirthankar Roy and Haruka more