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Family Organization and the Wage Labor Transition in a Tamang Community of Nepal

Publication Abstract

Fricke, Tom E., Arland Thornton, and Dilli R. Dahal. 1990. "Family Organization and the Wage Labor Transition in a Tamang Community of Nepal." Human Ecology, 18: 283-313.

This paper explores familial contexts of transition to a wage labor economy using ethnographic and survey data from Tamang communities at the northern edge of Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Historically agro-pastoralist, the Tamang of this area have experienced social watersheds drawing them into ever closer relationships with Kathmandu. The earliest was their nineteenth century induction into corvee labor for national elites; more recent has been the accelerating monetization of the twentieth century. This analysis demonstrates trends and frames hypotheses about the social structuring of this latest process, testing them at the individual level with combined ethnographic and survey data from 1028 respondents. Multivariate analyses explore the effects of birth cohort, education, domestic group status, and settlement location on participation in non-family organized wage work. Substantive findings are related to the broader historical literature on household and family with special attention to varieties of subsistence to monetized transition.

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