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Lena Kaufmann: Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform  China. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press 2021

Cover Contributions to Indian Sociology

How do rural Chinese households deal with the conflicting pressures of migrating into cities to work as well as staying at home to preserve their fields? This is particularly challenging for rice farmers, because paddy fields have to be cultivated continuously to retain their soil quality and value. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and written sources, Rural-Urban Migration and Agro-Technological Change in Post-Reform China describes farming households' strategic solutions to this predicament. It shows how, in light of rural-urban migration and agro-technological change, they manage to sustain both migration and farming. It innovatively conceives rural households as part of a larger farming community of practice that spans both staying and migrating household members and their material world. Focusing on one exemplary resource - paddy fields - it argues that socio-technical resources are key factors in understanding migration flows and migrant-home relations. Overall, this book provides rare insights into the rural side of migration and farmers' knowledge and agency. Mehr

 

Stefan Binder: Total Atheism.  Secular activism and the politics of difference in South India. New York: Berghahn 2020

CoverBinderTotal

Exploring lived atheism in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, this book offers a unique insight into India’s rapidly transforming multi-religious society. It explores the social, cultural, and aesthetic challenges faced by a movement of secular activists in their endeavors to establish atheism as a practical and comprehensive way of life. On the basis of original ethnographic material and engaged conceptual analysis, Total Atheism develops an alternative to Eurocentric accounts of secularity and critically revisits central themes of South Asian scholarship from the hitherto marginalized vantage point of radically secular and explicitly irreligious atheists in India. Mehr