Social Markets, Networks and Crafts-Based Livelihoods in India

Livelihoods, Markets, Marketing, Trade, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

Social Markets, Networks and Crafts-Based Livelihoods in India

Mohsini, Mira


This article attempts to elaborate on the importance of social markets and networks for sustaining crafts-based livelihoods. These two concepts of are often pushed aside and favour is given to discussions about income generation for artisans and upgrading skills so that products are better received at market. While the latter are important means to improve livelihoods, an understanding of social markets and networks is crucial for any intervention to remain sustainable.

Confronting the decline of crafts-based livelihoods in India means identifying the factors that have a direct bearing on this situation and understanding the ways in which these factors are impacting artisans, their crafts, and their communities. A plethora of reports and surveys blame both the colonial predatory interventions and post-independence development policies in India to have disproportionately and negatively affected traditional craft communities (Erdman 1988, SRUTI 1995, Halder and Pandey 2001, Christensen 1995, Kak 2003). These reports also suggest that even though the numbers employed in the crafts sector remains second only to agriculture, a long standing neglect of the sector on the part of policy makers has resulted in the declining social and economic status of artisans, and, combined with the significant collapse in the traditional forms of “civil society”, has left many struggling on the margins of society. The situation is further exacerbated in the recent decades by declining markets for a gro...


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Needs to be written.