Interdimensional Analysis of Social Disability: A Study of Backward Communities in Haryana, India

Friday, 20 July 2018
Distributed Paper
KiranPreet KAUR, Panjab University, India
This paper will explore the nature of social disability and its multiple dimensions- economic, cultural and socio-ecological amongst backward communities- Rai Sikh, Nayak, and Banjara. The traditional occupation of the Banjara community was trading and supply of goods, whereas that of Nayaks and Rai Sikhs was hunting. According to anthropological and sociological studies, they are identified as tribes and nomadic communities, without home and hearth, pose a threat to society. They were declared as criminals by the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 and as Vimukt Jatis (denotified tribes) in 1952. The respondents for this study have been selected from the aforementioned communities from different districts of Haryana, India.

The concept of social disability is measured in terms of subjective perception to ascertain marginalisation and deprivation with an economic, cultural, and socio-ecological context. Economic disability is conceptualized in a Marxian term, whereas, cultural disability falls under Oscar Lewis’ concept of “Culture of Poverty”,and socio-ecological disability in terms of stresses and strains experienced in inter-community interaction. A separate scale for each dimension and a composite scale of social disability are constructed by adopting interdimensional analysis.The Banjaras perceived high economic disability because of their entry into trade and business. It has been noted that almost an equal number of respondents with high and low level of economic disability experience a high degree of cultural and socio-ecological disability. This is indicative of the fact that irrespective of one's economic disability, their cultural and socio-ecological disability remained high. Nayaks are believed to have experienced a high degree of socio-ecological disability in intercommunity interaction,especially in their relations with higher castes. Intergenerational conflict is experienced between parents/elders, who wish to preserve their cultural values, whereas the younger generations tend to show resistance because of their mutation to the global world.