Deconstructing the Cycle: Vulnerability and Prospects for Social Mobility in Indian Urban Slums

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2015-04-22

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Abstract

Urban slums across the globe have become areas where those moving from rural towns are forced to settle on their intended path towards success. Oftentimes, generations of poverty and insecurity follow this hope-filled migration. This paper investigates the lives of those that call urban slums their home. It examines which factors spur intergenerational growth and which lead to stagnation or even regression. To do so, it focuses on slums in two large south Indian cities that face similar forces of globalization and economic inequality. Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, it finds that institutional connectedness, education, the absence of alcoholism, and housing security influence individuals’ prospects for intergenerational mobility. On the other hand, caste does not appear to have an effect upon prospects for social growth. These findings suggest specific questions that must be addressed in order to create effective policy recommendations to provide social protection for some of the country’s most vulnerable urban communities.

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Highest Distinction Public Policy Honors Thesis

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Ragavendran, Lekha (2015). Deconstructing the Cycle: Vulnerability and Prospects for Social Mobility in Indian Urban Slums. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/9606.


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