Sociology of Poverty

RESEARCH MANUAL Abhyudaya 2012
Social Structure
Social structure can be understood as hierarchical arrangement of different social positions. Positions, which are at the similar levels of hierarchy, can be understood as belonging to same class. Social structure is based on this hierarchy. This hierarchy can be arranged on the basis of ascriptive principles (based on the incident of birth like gender, caste or religion) or (achievement principles). These determine the Power, Income and Prestige of individuals depends on the social positions occupies by them.

1. You are carrying your identity card.

As we have discussed in the class this research method is based on participative action research. Participative action research consists of several cycles of research – insight generation – formulating (marketing or social) action strategy – implementation. Once the implementation is complete the second cycle starts. In this research the basic tool of data collection is based on the ethnographic approach. The tools of data collection in this project would be OBSERVATION and DEPTH INTERVIEW which will be added by photos or videos. Therefore each team should carry a camera/ cell phone with camera. As part of the project we will request you to submit photographs or video of the family. Ask for the permission before clicking or shooting. Take a little time to decide on the composition of the shot. Don’t just take in beautiful scenes. Pick up scenes that are very informative and descriptive of the family’s life style, culture and consumption. What kind of visuals and informative photographs would you wish you had if you were trying to explain your boss on marketing to ‘bottom of the pyramid’? Try to capture information in the photographs that you can not capture in words. Observation data will be recorded with the help of diary, photographs and videos. Each member of the team should maintain a separate diary. The success of your research will depend on the diary. This diary should be properly maintained and should be used to keep the record of observation and other research activities of each visit. It should be systematic and should contain – people whom researcher has met, verbatim record of information given by them; situations or phenomenon observed, content of observation and insight that the researcher may have developed. The dairy, by



it is a self-reflexive exercise. . while doing interview or while observing. 6. writing diary immediately ensures that you put down most of the information. 5. must contain a record of WHOM you talked with. questions you could have possibly asked. 7. Notes will provide objectivity to the diary. Please dress appropriately. WHEN.definition. Respect local culture and conform to dress code and customs. Writing the diary immediately after the visit has two distinct advantages: One. Thus. miss the sequence of events. That is. It will ensure that you are putting down what respondent had said and not what you think that respondent had said. if you delay. and misquote. you will be a better researcher the next visit. You are likely to forget. Diary writing should be based on the notes taken on the spot viz. on WHAT topic. and WHAT was said by the person. Taking notes will ensure that you have not forgotten anything in the diary. Therefore we will ask you to submit a copy of your diary to Programme Office two days after the visit. Second. the process of writing itself will put you in an evaluative mode: you will see things you have missed out.

: Mother more concerned about studies of mentee irrespective of her low education levels.  Purchase heuristics used – how to decide what to buy. Extent of parental control. Occupations and income – auto driver. economic background Observation of habits. C. household items  Purchase pattern – on credit/cash. Consumption profile  Product/ brand basket – food. men and youth Special attention and chats with child .p. Attitude towards the child – expectations. List of aspirations – where to see themselves after some time. Here we aim to understand: Family profile      Size – 3. the core values and aspirations of women. Culture of family The following areas will be the focus of study        Is there future orientation in their thinking – savings.pratapgarh. Observation and chat with people from different groups. which should be aimed to find. working pattern and chat with women. clothing. Do they have aspirations for their children Values and aspirations of the women – outlook towards daughter. Own Farms and home there. investments. Values and aspirations of youth Value given to education and to educated individuals Major social events.  B. youths and educated people in general. Method of data collection     Observation and informal chat. housewife Interrelations among family members Dominance/ influence pattern – who takes family and mentee related decisions. Original home: U.Assignment I About the Mentee & his/her Family A.

A guide on what observations and chat sessions are to be undertaken to get relevant answers on culture We all are members of society. Like this can you tell me what values do you consider important? Ask for each of the value told – why does he consider it important? Who are good people here? Why do you consider them good? What have they done? Lot is things are happening around us? Some of them are good and some of them are bad? What are the good things and bad – why? (Talk with them on different occasions on different issues. Like if somebody has taken loan and not returning it in spite of having money – then he is condemned on the principle of dishonesty. are they good or bad and in the basis of this get a list of value) Had they ever thought about their own life – or they live only in the present – have they aspirations – what are the types of aspirations that they have – and in this aspirations where do their sons and daughters stand? What is the meaning of consumption for them? You would have observed what are the products that they are using? Why are they using these products? Find the values that are driving the utility and benefits of these products? Extend this to the acceptance of difference concepts and ideas for example have they accepted the idea of only one child and if yes why? Another example can be acceptance of girl child equality with a boy and if they have done so why? Note: We have to keep the child at the centre of the focus for each of the aspect of the study. . Products used. How to teach children about values. From topography to culture and consumption our concern should always be on the implications for the child. This behaviour is evaluated on the basis of some principles. And we are constantly evaluating each other’s behaviour.Value education – differentiation between good and bad.

kaccha). are they operational? Also take a note of the kind of infra structure that exists there. tubewell?)  State of water supply for other household work.Assignment II Community Profile and Resources The following areas will be the focus of the study Topography Description land on which community lives – is it legalized  Location (e. maintenance. condition. Healthcare facility (Government dispensary or clinic) o School (Primary and High School) o Post Office o PCO o Bank o Bus station o Railway station o Garbage disposal / collection  Power supply Number of with electric connection – is it legal  Streetlights  Water Supply  State of drinking water supply. drains. maintenance. nallahs)  What kind of houses are there? What is the material that has been used – average size of the house  Type of roads (pucca.g. how far are these institutions? If yes.  Existence of any NGO or any governmental developmental agency. type (with septic tank?)  Drainage facility – availability. condition. facilities on the life of occupants. condition. lavatory etc  Sanitary Condition  Lavatory facility – availability. type (underground?)  Sewerage facility – availability. built along railway lines. Impact . type (underground?)  Implications of aforementioned resources. source of drinking water (tap. nature of works undertaken (educational facilities. by-lanes in the colony  Description of approach roads (motor-able?) to settlement Implications of colony topography on the way of life occupants – keep an eye for how the topography affects the life style – the way they interact with each other Resources  Income generating activities  Whether following amenities exist in the settlement? If no. maintenance. drainage facilities etc) and its impact on the life.

product and brand consumption in a family Transition in the slum social structure Basic factor that we should find out here is how they form groups. The aforementioned sections are to be observed. their version of these facilities etc. The interaction they have at these places. position of the child in the community concerns. Observations are to be made by when occupants use these resources. but yet there is unity. Type and strength of relationships. as they fight for the same limited resources and facilities available. . religion. to mother. facilities. Observe the kind of role that community plays in the bringing up of the child i. type of families prevalent in different segments Decision making. Descriptive analysis. education. what the.should be evaluated from the viewpoint of everyone.e. to father and other members of a family. other groups and rest of the settlement Intensity of factional feeling and rivalry Family. Here we aim to understand: Slum as a community     Is there any sense of connection with the rest of the community? How do they connect themselves? What leads to the sense of unity among them? Does this identity extend to different sections of the settlement? And is it independent of factors like caste. education etc. groups and other factors of dominance Relationship between dominant group. from children. A. and how this interaction impacts on the consumption. We should also focus on the ‘value for children’ in the community. cliques and peer groups and how they interact with each other. The value for the child varies from one community to another – what is value of child in community. occupation) Dominant caste. snapshots are to be taken wherever relevant and help in describing the real scenario. region. Social structure  Factors on which the social hierarchy is based and their relative importance Types of groups in the settlement and basis of their formation (caste. Community structure – what is the organizing principle of the community – is it organized o By caste o By religion o By language o By occupation o By literacy What is the status of the young ‘Sitara’ that you are mentoring in the community – what he does when he is not studying – with whom he interacts – who are his friends – what does he thinks about his surroundings  B.

Informal chat with the family members of the child who is being mentored. which makes them feel happy and what makes them feel unhappy? Have the ever considered moving out of this settlement? Why not? (Interaction like: Government allocates flat everywhere for poor. try to chat with them and find out what group do they belong to) Can you tell me which are the most prestigious and reputed families? Why do you think that the family is the most reputed family? Is that family the most powerful family also in the locality? (Aim of this section is to find out the interconnection among income. education. Discussions on the influential family should be utilised to find out these interconnections). to a wage labour. interaction among family members. reputation. to hawkers etc. caste. Observation of family structure. What type of work people from different groups do? Is there difference in the type of work people do who are educated? What are these differences? Do you think education has helped them get better jobs? Why? What kind of work men and women do? Why is there difference between the type of work that men and women do? Who is educated more: male or female child? Why this differential treatment to male and female child? (Aim of this section is to examine the relationship between gender and social power) Describe how many times and what do the poor eat. have you applied for them? Would you like to move to those flats?) Is there any group. religion.C. power. region. which is more active? Why is that group more active? What do they feel about it? (Like: Whom do you look to in case of medical emergency?) What are the sources of income in the settlement? Which group has the largest number active in business and service? Why these people are engaged in the business or job more? Why do you say so? (Observe occupations of people. Method of data collection    Observation of interaction between members of same group. What is the material used for cooking in the locality? What are prominent brands used by urban poor? Do they gamble? How frequently? Do they drink? Are they habitual drinkers? . from kabadi-wallah. A guide on what to look for to get relevant answers on social structure Are there common sets of activities in which majority of the people participate? What is the extent of interdependencies among different groups? To what extent the residents can unite for a common good? Are they happy in living in that place? What are the factors. to a rickshaw puller.

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