Abstract

This article deals with the conditions of tea plantation workers in the framework of ethnicity and marginalization. It takes up the case of tribal tea plantation workers in the state of West Bengal in India who, largely due to their ethnic status and isolation within the plantations, have remained marginalized over the years. The article begins with an analysis of the features of the plantation system and shows how the specific means of control over labor resulted in unfree relations. In most countries where plantations exist, labor belongs to the formal/organized workforce: there are permanent and secure jobs, and laws regulate employment and work conditions. Yet, despite these comparatively recent safeguards elsewhere, plantation labor in India continues to live in unfree conditions. This article examines the reasons behind this situation.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-8652
Print ISSN
1935-8644
Pages
pp. 235-253
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-09
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived
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