Classes and Class Differentiation in India’s Countryside

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Central to an understanding of the agrarian question is the identification of the nature
of classes that arise on the basis of the development of capitalism in agriculture. We need to
understand classes in order to understand social and economic inequality, the nature of the state
in India, and the ways in which the state intervenes in the countryside. In identifying classes, our
task is two-fold: on the one hand, to establish certain general theoretical categories and criteria
in order to distinguish classes in the countryside, and, on the other hand, to identify classes
in situ, that is, in the specific agro-economic and social circumstances that prevail in different
regions and localities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)646-670
Number of pages25
JournalWorld Review of Political Economy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • agrarian relations
  • peasant differentiation
  • the state in India
  • agricultural labor


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