Theses Master's

Social Mobility Through Rural-Urban Migration: A Case of Traditional 'Manganiyar and Langa' Desert Tribes of Rajasthan, India

Singhvi, Anjali

This research investigates the concepts and perceptions of ‘social mobility’, which can simply be described as the movement of people or a group of people within or between the social strata of the society (Sorokin, 1959), in a rarely studied context of rural-urban migration, marginalization and cultural heritage in the state of Rajasthan, India. The case study is focused on the ‘Manganiyar’ and ‘Langa’ desert tribes of Rajasthan, who belong to the traditional classes of the Rajasthani Folk music.

Additionally, it aims to understand how the cultural heritage of these tribes, help improve or not improve, the tribes’ positive movement on the ladder of social mobility, otherwise simply known as ‘upward mobility’.

Primarily, this study explores the perceptions of social and cultural mobility India, where marginalization and social stratification is still very prominent, even after 68 years of Independence. By contextualizing the age-old system of social hierarchies in India from the perspective of social mobility in lower classes of the society, this research aims to increase the understanding between policy, power, privilege and social inequality.

The research used qualitative research methods such as interviews of the migrants and qualitative data review of government policies and programs for folk artists. The results of this research show trends towards higher horizontal social mobility and also a significant positive impact on the vertical social mobility for the migrants i.e. the Manganiyar and Langa tribes that are engaged in non-traditional jobs. On the contrary, the migrants engaged in traditional jobs sometimes experience vertical social mobility after migration, but there is no upward mobility thereafter. The antithesis is found to be true in specific circumstances where indicators of social mobility are bent heavily towards income and prominence within the traditional job itself.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Rosenthal, Joyce
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 28, 2016