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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Decision processes in rural development Hale, Sylvia Marion 1976

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DECISION PROCESSES IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT by SYLVIA MARION HALE B.Sc, University of Bath, England. 1967 M.A., University of York, Toronto. 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n the Department of ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I ag ree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d that c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f Sociology The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date January 5 th 1976 Acknowledgements A very special word of thanks i s due to Professor R.A.H. Robson who f i r s t stimulated my interest in theory construction, and who gave un-fai l i n g encouragement during the many problems I encountered in applying this approach to a f i e l d situation. I also wish to acknowledge with thanks the generous help given by other members of the committee during the protracted and often confused stages of drafting the thesis. I am especially grateful to Professors C.S. Belshaw, and M. Ames who devoted so much of their time to reading and commenting on successive drafts. Despite their misgivings at the utilization of a formal theory approach to anthropological f i e l d data, they were more than ready to offer their support in the experiment, and to grapple with i t s problems. Professor K.S. Mathur, the head of department of Anthropology at Lucknow University in Uttar Pradesh, India, kindly agreed to supervise my research work while in India. His help was invaluable in smoothing out the many d i f f i c u l t i e s of launching a research project in a foreign country. Sri Sushil Chandra Gupta, a graduate student in anthropology at Lucknow University, greatly assisted me in the translation and printing of questionnaires, and in the i n i t i a l stages of interviewing. Sri Guro Deo, of Mohanlalganj, Lucknow, acted as my assistant for the remainder of the research. His cheerfulness and easy rapport with villagers made him one of the best assistants one could hope to find. Special thanks are also due to the many local Block Development officers for the courtesy and help which they extended to me throughout the research. This research was financed through a Canada Council Doctoral Fellowship which I received from 1969-1973. Abstract This thesis develops a general theory of choice behaviour which i s applied to the analysis of response to development programmes i n r u r a l India. The theory focuses on the s o c i a l processes which structure perceived choice parameters f o r in d i v i d u a l s d i f f e r e n t i a l l y s i t uated within the v i l l a g e communities. I t examines those mechanisms which influence the range of a l t e r n a t i v e s l i k e l y to be considered, appreciation of t h e i r v a r i e d consequences, or the l i k e l y outcome of new proposals, and t h e i r perceived and actual f e a s i b i l i t y . A basic concept i n the theory i s "power", defined here as "the a b i l i t y to influence the st r u c t u r i n g of choice parameters of others", through control over c r i t i c a l mechanisms of information flow, persuasion, and access to input f a c i l i t i e s . Ten hypotheses are derived from the basic t h e o r e t i c a l axiom of r a t i o n a l ' action, concerned with how such control w i l l be exercised, and the implications which t h i s has for the scope of choices open to others. Rural development programmes i n India provide the substantive context for t e s t i n g the u t i l i t y of these hypotheses. These programmes are ' • d i r e c t l y concerned with promoting innovation among v i l l a g e r s , and they ''.' •v.?--..! •= incorporate a wide range of s p e c i f i c choices. \ The theory predicts that within the highly s t r a t i f i e d v i l l a g e •"communities, f i r s t hand access to new information, and further d i f f u s i o n 'atvsecond hand, w i l l be concentrated among members of the same fa c t i o n and* s o c i a l stratum as i n i t i a l l y p r i v i l e g e d informants. V e r t i c a l d i f f u s i o n of information across s t r a t a w i l l be minimal, and.its content strongly biased by the p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t s of i n i t i a l informants. The . , ' "theory further predicts that evaluation of the merits of any new proposals w i l l be strongly influenced by the character of r e l a t i o n s between informant and r e c i p i e n t s . As information flows v e r t i c a l l y between s t r a t a , i t s persuasive impact w i l l decline, as a function of r e l a t i v e l y poorer q u a l i t y information, the extent of tensions and c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s between s t r a t a , and perceived economic d i s p a r i t i e s . L a s t l y , the theory p r e d i c t s that access to any input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l be concentrated among members of the same f a c t i o n and s o c i a l stratum as those persons responsible for t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n . Access by members of other s t r a t a w i l l decline with increasing s o c i a l distance, and t h e i r preferences are progressively less l i k e l y to be considered i n the investment of resources f o r community projects. The study succeeds i n demonstrating the u t i l i t y of these hypotheses i n p r e d i c t i n g response to development projects within the f i v e v i l l a g e communities. LEAF iv OMITTED IN PAGE NUMBERING. V TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables List of Illustrations Introduction Chapter One: Models of Choice Behaviour Reformulation of Theory: Decision-Making as a Social Process Chapter Two: Decision Processes and Rural Development Chapter Three: Research Procedures Characteristics of Respondents Choice Alternatives in Rural Development Information and Choice Chapter Four: Chapter Five: Source and Means of Communication Access to First-Hand Communication Diffusion of Information Content of Information Transmitted Conclusion Chapter Six: Persuasion and Choice Competence of Informants Comprehensive Information Trust in Advisors Practicality of New Proposals Preference Ordering of Projects Conclusion .'V'/^ Chapter*;.Seven: Feasibility and Choice •:•$), \.:[; Relevant F a c i l i t i e s Access to Input F a c i l i t i e s Conditions of Access Appropriation of F a c i l i t i e s Obstruction of Change . Conclusion Page v i i x i 1 4-41 35 42-62 63-99 85 100-110 111-156 113 116 140 147 154 157-203 160 167 173 182 195 202 204-245 205 206 218 231 237 243 v i •f , ' Page Chapter Eight: Conclusion 246-266 Bibliography 267-284 Appendix 1. Tables XLI - LVII 285-318 Appendix 2. Translation of Questionnaire from Hindi 319-331 V l l Table I Table II Table I I I Table IV Table V Table VI Table VII Table VIII Table IX Table X Table XI Table XII Table XIII Table XIV Table XV '"Table XVI <!al|ie x v i i Table XVIII Table XIX LIST OF TABLES Number Interviewed by V i l l a g e Caste Ranking by V i l l a g e Landholding of Respondents by V i l l a g e Occupation by Landholding Caste by Landholding Faction by Caste f o r Five V i l l a g e s Faction by Landholding for Five V i l l a g e s Summary of Mean Adoption Rates for a l l Projects by V i l l a g e Summary of Mean Adoption Rates f o r a l l Projects by Faction and Caste First-Hand Communication with Block O f f i c i a l s by Faction and Caste Di r e c t Access to V i l l a g e Organizations by Faction and Caste Di r e c t Access to Mass Media by Faction and Caste First-Hand Communication with Informants Outside the V i l l a g e by Faction and Caste. Correlation between Landholding and Faction and Caste Di v i s i o n s Page 66 86 86 89 89 94 94 107 109 119 121 129 134 138 Access to First-Hand Communication by Faction and Caste D i v i s i o n s , C o n t r o l l i n g Landholding 138 Summary of Average Knowledge of Development Projects by Faction and Caste 143 Summary of Ignorance as a Factor i n Non-adop-ti o n of Projects by Faction and Caste 155 Perceived Competence of Block Advisors 162 Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents,, C o n t r o l l i n g Contact With O f f i c i a l s • ' 164 v i i i Page Table XX Table XXI Table XXII Table XXIII Table XXIV Table XXV Table XXVI Table. XXVII Table XXVIII Table XXIX Table. XXX Table XXXI Table XXXII •Table XXXIII Table'XXXIV Table XXXV Table XXXVI Adoption of Seeds and Fer t i l i z e r by Contact, Controlling Faction and Caste 168 Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Detail in Information 171 Adoption of Seeds and Fe r t i l i z e r by Degree of Detail in Information, Controlling Faction and Caste 172 Indices of Antipathy by Faction and Caste 175 Total Antipathy Score 177 Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Antipathy Score 179 Adoption of Seeds and F e r t i l i z e r by Antipathy, Controlling Faction and Caste 181 Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Landholding 186 Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Landholding and Contact With Offic i a l s 188 Interaction Between Contact and Landholding 189 Interaction Effects Between Three Major Variables 192 Proportional Differences in Adoption Rates Controlling Three Major Variables Access to Credit F a c i l i t i e s : Cooperative Societies Access to Credit F a c i l i t i e s from the Block Access to Grant F a c i l i t i e s Conditions of Access to A l l F a c i l i t i e s by Faction and Caste Credit from Moneylenders. 194 210 213 216 220 225 Table XXXVII Personal Loans Given Over Previous 5 Years 228 i x Page Table XXXVIII Exchange of Personal Loans 229 Table XXXIX Joi n t Investment 229 Table XL D i s t r i b u t i o n of Common Lands: Experiences Recounted by Faction and Caste 239 APPENDIX 1 Page Table XLI Table XLII Table XLIII Table XLIV Table XLV Table XLVI Table XLVII Table XLVIII Table IL Table L Table LI Table LII Table LIII Table.LIV . Table LV ". Table LVI Table LVII Caste Composition of the Five V i l l a g e s , by Family 286 Adoption Rates by V i l l a g e 287-288 Adotpion by Faction and Caste: A l l V i l l a g e s Combined 289-290 Knowledge of Development Projects 291-292 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects by Faction and Caste 293-294 Lack of Information as a Factor i n Non-adoption 295-296 Adoption of Projects Among Informed V i l l a g e r s 297-298 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects by Contact With O f f i c i a l s 299-300 Adoption Among Informed Respondents C o n t r o l l i n g Contact With O f f i c i a l s 301-302 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects by D e t a i l i n Information 303-304 Adoption Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g D e t a i l i n Information 305-306 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects by Antipathy' 307-308 Adoption Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g Antipathy Score 309-310 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects by Landholding 311-312 Adoption Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g Landholding 313-314 Frequency of Information and Adoption of Projects C o n t r o l l i n g Landholding and Contact With O f f i c i a l s 315-316 Adoption Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g Landholding and Contact With O f f i c i a l s 317-318 X I LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page Map: Location of the Five V i l l a g e s Studied 65 INTRODUCTION The central objective of th i s thesis i s to develop and t e s t a general theory of choice behaviour. The body of theory concerned with elaboration of formal models of choice behaviour i s examined i n the f i r s t chapter. The major t h e o r e t i c a l assumptions which form the bases of these models and weaknesses i n t h e i r general p r e d i c t i v e u t i l i t y are discussed. A r e - o r i e n t a t i o n of t h e o r e t i c a l perspective i s suggested as the basis from which to generate a broader theory of decision-making processes. In t h i s formulation the cen t r a l focus of concern i s with the explanation of how choice parameters are structured. I t e n t a i l s exami-nation of the mechanisms which influence the range of a l t e r n a t i v e s l i k e l y to be presented and considered, and the chooser's appreciation of ..their varied consequences and weighting of uncertainties i n the l i k e l y outcome of proposed actions. Lastly, i t e n t a i l s examination of the mechanisms which influence the r e l a t i v e f e a s i b i l i t y of d i f f e r e n t a l t e r n a -t i v e s . The same general approach applies to the analysis of i n d i v i d u a l choice and to p o l i c y decisions a f f e c t i n g groups or communities as a whole. A serie s of ten hypotheses are derived from the theory concerned with control over information flow, persuasion, and control over input f a c i l i t i e s , as these determine parameters of choice, ' • j . - , > Rural development programmes i n India are selected as the substantive context for t e s t i n g the hypotheses. These programmes are .'.directly concerned with s t r u c t u r i n g choice parameters f o r i n d i v i d u a l s within the s o c i a l context of v i l l a g e communities. Applied theories of choice behaviour are incorporated into t h e i r p r a c t i c a l objective of promoting innovations, although only infrequently are they associated with the testing of such theories. Chapter Two examines the relevance and implications of the theoretical model proposed here for the analysis of these programmes. It indicates the significance of questions raised by the theory and the extent to which these issues have been addressed in current research. Chapter Three describes the research procedures used. It out-lines methods of. data collection and the main limitations of these data. The background characteristics of respondents are described as these relate to important dimensions in the theory. Innovations sponsored through the development programmes are described in Chapter Four. Most of them c a l l for response by individual farmers and householders, but those concerned with public amenities affect the communities as a whole. These projects provide the framework for analysis of choice behaviour. The analysis of data is presented in the following three chapters Five, Six and Seven. The chapters are ordered in relation to the three primary mechanisms identified in the theory as determinants of choice •parameters in a social context. Chapter Five examines hypotheses concern-. .:\ •; '•• .ing: the flow of information within a community, as these affect the range of riew:^alternatives and consequences known to different individuals. - j C j^pter^Six examines mechanisms of persuasion, as these affect the interpretation and evaluation of information received. Chapter Seven ;examheLs mfe'chanisms of control over input f a c i l i t i e s , as these affect ^t^^'aijge^xj'f alternatives which are feasible. Tests of the various hypotheses are ..presented in relation to a detailed discussion of their importance for the operation and achievements of the development programmes i n the v i l l a g e s studied. The f i n a l chapter summarizes b r i e f l y the res u l t s of the study. I t indicates t h e i r p r a c t i c a l implications for development programmes, and t h e i r broader s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r the theory of choice behaviour. CHAPTER ONE MODELS OF CHOICE BEHAVIOUR A large body of theory has developed which is concerned with the elaboration of formal or abstract models of choice behaviour. Their objective Is to provide general predictive theories which can be applied to any substantive context once the appropriate parameters are defined. The major theoretical assumptions which form the bases of these formal models, and weaknesses in their general predictive u t i l i t y , are examined at length below. A re-orientation of theoretical perspective is suggested as -the basis from which to generate a broader theory of decision-making processes. Hypotheses derived from this proposed theory are tested in the analysis of choice in response to development programmes Choice i s defined as "the act of exerting a preference between alternatives". The axiom of rational action, from which formal models are derived, identifies four parameters which bound any choice. These parameters are alternatives, benefits, costs, and preference ordering. 'Benefits' and 'costs' are concepts which denote positive and negative preferences. The axiom states as the relation between these parameters, i„ A l l persons choose, in accordance with their preference ordering, that alternative which maximizes the balance •of benefits over costs. %ThJ|very simplicity of this axiom is deceptive. It constitutes not a -prediction for behaviour but a tautology, i t s tenets true by definition. Predictions can be logically derived from the axiom when each of the 5 parameter values are fixed. The choice equation has an unambiguous solution when the alternatives facing a chooser are given, when the consequences or the benefits and costs associated with each alternative are given, and further, when the chooser has a clearly defined prefer-ence ordering for alternatives. In effect, the axiom defines the elements of choice but does not i t s e l f constitute a predictive theory. The tenets of the axiom are logically unfalsifiable. After the fact, the choice made i s by definition what the chooser preferred. If this choice was not in accordance with prior predictions, this does not imply that the choice was 1 irrational'. It implies that the chooser may have invoked a different preference ordering from that ascribed to him, or that his preferences were ordered with reference to subjectively per-ceived alternatives, costs and benefits, which may or may not coincide with 'objective' po s s i b i l i t i e s apparent to an observer. However, any such modification permits the prediction of rational choice to retreat to a position of u n f a l s i f i a b i l i t y . The apparent f l e x i b i l i t y of a l l choice parameters raises serious d i f f i c u l t i e s for the predictive u t i l i t y of the axiom. The problems incurred have been conceptualized primarily as problems of devising appropriate measurement techniques for specifying parameter values in a given choice situation. In practice, i t has proven very d i f f i c u l t to determine these values prior to the act of ;.'$.^ £chbice i t s e l f , although they can usually be described in retrospect. ::• •• •'. ••^\^*Spccessive ad hoc modifications have been proposed to the tenets of the ''^ V^ 'x^ pm. in attempts to apply i t under varying conditions of indeterminate • • . • . . .'' • ''.!' parameter values. These have largely failed to resolve the related problem of un f a l s i f i a b i l i t y , which in turn reflects the tautological 6 nature of the choice equation. The following analysis considers each of the main parameters in turn. It highlights the problems inherent in any attempt to ascribe fixed values to them, and the theoretical limitations of modifications proposed to deal with this. It is suggested here that the major problem does not l i e in the failure of measurement techniques. It lies in the inherently indeterminate nature of these choice parameters. The limited predictive u t i l i t y of proposed reformulations in turn stems from the conceptualization of such parameter values as exogenous factors in a theory of choice. A different theoretical perspective is proposed here in which parameters specified by the axiom constitute the central variables to be predicted by a theory of choice behaviour. In terms of this perspective, the axiom of rational action serves only to define the logical relation between choice parameters. It does not i t s e l f function as a predictive theory. A second important corollary of this change in focus is that choice behaviour is not conceptualized as a decision made at a single point in time, but as the process through which a decision comes to be structured. The concept of "choice behaviour" refers to this process and not simply to the act of choice i t s e l f . Alternatives . • . The f i r s t major parameter of choice specified by the axiom is .;>the range of alternatives considered. The scope of behaviour possibil-i t i e s i s limited not only by the logic of the situation, but by imagina-tion, by information available, and other factors which restrict the 7 range of options which come to mind. Successive modifications to the axiom in application, have been prompted by the fact that, in most contexts, the alternatives open to a decision-maker are not pre-determined and there are few rules for generating them. In order to apply the axiom in contexts where the f u l l range of alternatives may not be considered, the formal requirement of 'maximizing' benefits has been revised to the less exacting requirement of 'satisficing'. Simon, among others, argues that a chooser may not strive to maximize his goals but simply to find any alternative which seems reasonable in relation to his level of aspiration concerning his goals (Simon 1957, & 1964) . Cyert and March similarly propose to modify the axiom from 'omniscient rationality" to 'adaptive rationality' in which a chooser seeks only a 'good' move, and not the 'best' move (1964, 289-304). This potentially useful reformulation resolves the question of how to cope conceptually with the i n f i n i t y of logical alternatives. At the same time i t reflects in more overt form the weakness of the axiom as a predictive tool. It draws attention to the tautological structure of the relations i t defines. As Feldman and Kanter emphasize, concepts of satisficing and dynamic aspirations may be intuitively appealing but they remain open to the same criticism of non-operational-ization as applied to maximization. It constitutes no more than a ;convenient ad hoc assumption to explain behaviour after the fact of .v* choice (1965, 634). ., It is proposed here that these problems stem from asking the wrong question. Once i t is asknowledged that not a l l alternatives can be perceived or considered in the choice equation, the c r i t i c a l 8 theoretical issue becomes that of predicting which alternatives w i l l be considered, and by whom. The analysis of choice in terms of this perspective raises questions concerning the mechanisms which may in-fluence the range of alternatives considered by any chooser, and the factors which may prompt some alternatives to be stressed while others are suppressed or ignored. Consequences - Benefits and Costs The benefits and costs associated with each alternative comprise two further parameters of choice. Further modifications to the axiom have been prompted by the recognition that in many practical choice situations the potential outcome of different actions cannot be readily forseen or evaluated. The formal requirement of determined benefits and costs have been relaxed to incorporate more general conditions of uncertain consequences. These proposed changes have c r i t i c a l logical implications for the structure of the axiom and explanations derived from i t . To u t i l i z e the logic of reverse causality in an explanation, i.e. that action was undertaken in order to achieve a future objective, i t i s necessary to specify exactly what aspects of any action or institution have relevant consequences, and exactly which consequences have selective force. Without such specification the explanation becomes merely ex-post-factum determinism, as the many c r i t i c s of the functionalist school of analysis •have pointed out (Stinchcombe 1968, 129). The f i r s t limiting condition on choice relates to the range of consequences considered. As with alternatives, a chooser may well not take into account a l l the significant consequences or ramifications which 9 may,stem from different actions. In part, this reflects the magnitude of the task, involved. Even a computer cannot work out a l l the logically possible consequences of a chess move. Lindblom in particular has stressed the inevitability of non-comprehensive analysis. The best administrator or manager cannot be competent on a l l policies, or even comprehend one of them completely (1964, 162). One such ill u s t r a t i o n is Hunter's description of the chain of largely unintended consequences which stemmed from one ostensively simple innovation of encouraging farmers to use more f e r t i l i z e r s . The new f e r t i l i z e r harmed the old low-yield crops, and so required the introduction of new varieties. These varieties required earlier planting when the ground was so hard that iron ploughs and a tractor were needed instead of bullocks. Land consolidation was required in order to use the tractor, plus more money to purchase i t . More labour was needed to clear the old crop sooner. Better spraying was needed as the new varieties proved more susceptible to diseases. More weeds grew, hence requiring more labour and better equipment to clear them, and so on (Hunter 1969, 107-138). A modification has been proposed in the tenets of the axiom of rational choice to cope with indeterminate consequences, which Lindblom terms the 'science of muddling through' (1964, 155-169). He argues that i t is impossible to grasp a l l the consequences of an action in .their entirety. Rather, attention shifts, and with i t the range of consequences brought to mind. The administrator muddles along from one 'obstacle to the next. Simon similarly suggests that the decision-maker overcomes limited knowledge by assuming that he can isolate a closed system from the world, and so consider only factors most closely connected 10 to the action in question (1957, 81). This reformulation i s intuitively appealing, but as an explana-tory theory i t suffers from the same limitations as satisficing in relation to alternatives considered. It may be used to account for behaviour only after the fact of choice. An alternative theoretical perspective i s proposed here in which analysis centres on the mechanisms which may direct the chooser's focus of attention, within which conse-quences are sought and considered, and the factors which may prompt certain consequences to be stressed and others to be minimized or overlooked. Probability and Risk The d i f f i c u l t y of anticipating a l l the possible consequences of various alternatives i s part of a more general problem of unpredictability. Where both the range and the likelihood of possible consequences are uncertain, i t may be impossible for the chooser to determine in advance whether a given alternative w i l l result in net benefits or losses. Under such conditions of risk and uncertainty, no predictions can be derived from the axiom of rational choice. There i s no definite solution to the choice equation. Further modifications have been introduced in order to apply the axiom to choice under risky conditions. They u t i l i z e general propo-sitions derived from the mathematical theory of probability. Arrow 'summarizes attempts to describe uncertainty by probabilities in terms of three broad categories: a) those who treat probability distributions as subjectively given to the chooser and who do not attempt further analysis, b) those who derive a l l probability judgements from a limited number of 11 a p r i o r i probabilities, and lastly, c) those who attempt to relate the degree-of-belief and frequency theory to each other through the law of large numbers (1971, 9). The simplest modification is based on the assumption that while the consequences are not certain, the probability distribution of risk is known. Hence i t predicts that the decision-maker w i l l select that alternative with the highest probability of successful outcome. This reformulation, however, has not been substantiated by empirical tests. It was f i r s t challenged by studies of gambling behaviour, notably in the work of Bernouli. He stressed the importance of distinguishing between objective and subjective calculations of risks and returns. Objective values are not always good indicators of a subject's choice (Latane 1964, 128-140). Gambling experiments indicated that individuals with limited resources are reluctant to take expensive risks. They tend to choose the alternative with low cost over ones with higher costs, even i f the latter had a greater objective probability of success. These experiments pinpointed an important boundary condition which in-fluences the parameter values of choice, and prompted further useful insights into risk-taking behaviour. It is noteworthy that although the data contradicted the proposition that alternatives with the highest probability of success are always chosen, these results were readily gt^e-interpreted in terms of the axiom. A small amount of return has a greater value for a poor man. Similarly, a given level of cost has a greater value for a poor man. Hence he i s less likely to risk the same amount as a rich man for a gamble. Further experiments indicated that there are additional variables 12 which influence the subjective estimates of parameter values. When the suggested condition of r e l a t i v e cost was c o n t r o l l e d , the above condition has s t i l l not always been substantiated experimentally. Many subjects appeared to p r a c t i c e 1 i r r a t i o n a l ' event-matching st r a t e g i e s . They choose alter n a t i v e s with a r e l a t i v e frequency which was proportional to preceding rewards (Simon 1967, 206). This may be interpreted as a subject wishing to maximize but not knowing what the maximum strategy i s , but this i s an u n l i k e l y explanation i n such a transparent s i t u a t i o n . Secondly, the subject may see i t as a competitive game with the experi-menter. Thirdly, some learning process may be involved, with future choice being guided by immediate past experience (i b i d , 206). This experiment i s valuable i n drawing attention to the attempts by choosers to estimate the probable outcomes of choices on the basis of t h e i r own experience, which i n t h i s case appears to have overridden the ' o f f i c i a l ' estimate of probable outcomes given by the experimenter. The major d i f f i c u l t y i n the a p p l i c a t i o n of p r o b a b i l i t y theorems to choice , i s that usually no basis i s provided for the chooser to formulate estimates of p r o b a b i l i t i e s of d i f f e r e n t outcomes occurring. The mathematical j u s t i f i c a t i o n for the p r o b a b i l i t y theorem i s the law of large numbers. At best t h i s would seem to require extensive exper-ience or t r i a l s as a p r e r e q u i s i t e for accurate estimates. Latane o f f e r s p r e c i s e l y such a formulation i n h i s model of the 'maximum chance subgoal' (1964, 139-140). In p r a c t i c e , t h i s involves the severely l i m i t i n g assumption that other things remain equal while the chooser bets on the same outcome an unspecified number of times, u n t i l he can estimate frequencies of success. Only then can be s t a b i l i z e his choices. 13 At best, such strategies can only be approximated in routinely repeated and short-term decisions, where the costs of failure are so small that the chooser can afford repeated losses. In any case, the gambling experiment noted above suggests that this does not accurately describe the way that subjects make choices over a series of t r i a l s . A further probabilistic reformulation to cope with the d i f f i c u l t y of unknown consequences is the principle of 'minimax'. This assumes that under conditions of uncertainty, the states of nature are known, but not the probability of their occurrence. The principle evoked to cope with this i s the Bayesian assumption that everything in nature is equi-probable (Arrow 1971, 12). It assumes a malevolent opponent or male-volent nature. It prescribes a strategy for rational choice in accord-ance with the postulate of minimax, or regret payoff. The subject compares the worst possible outcome of each alternative and selects that which w i l l minimize losses. This principle again, has not stood up to empirical test. Even in games where the subjects were expli c i t l y told that the presentation of rewarding alternatives was random, they s t i l l continued to search for patterns and to attempt event-matching strategies (Simon 1967, 210). A different approach to the analysis of probability which is closer to that advocated here, incorporates much weaker assumptions. Probability i s conceptualized simply in terms of degree-of-belief. According to the formulation, proposed by Keynes, i t constitutes a relation between the evidence and the event considered, but is not necessarily measurable. He does not even consider that in general i t is possible to order the probabilities of different events. Keynes suggests 14 further that i t is necessary to consider the weight of evidence relative to which probability i s formed. Uncertainty can thus be seen as having two dimensions, probability and weight of evidence, neither of which need be measurable (Arrow 1971, 16). Keynes' approach has the merit of greater realism than the above assumptions, but at the acknowledged cost that i t can provide no predictive formula for maximizing choices. It may well be for this reason that i t has received l i t t l e emphasis in subsequent literature on probability and choice, although i n i t i a l l y proposed in 1921. In summary, none of these probabilistic reformulations appear to significantly increase the predictive power of the axiom under conditions of risk. For the most part, no operational procedures are provided for determining the subjective probability estimates formulated by the chooser. The degree of f i t between formulae such as 'maximum chance subgoal' or 'minimax' solutions and how subjects actually make choices is generally not impressive and not consistent over different experiments. The alternative approach proposed here focuses attention not on probabilistic formulae, but on examination of how a chooser estimates risk under un-certain conditions. This entails consideration of the variables which influence a chooser's degree of belief in the likelihood of certain outcomes, and how evidence from different sources and experiences i s likely to be evaluated and incorporated into any such estimation of risk. Preference Ordering Preference ordering between alternatives constitutes the last major parameter bounding the act of choice. The logical requirement of 15 f i x e d preferences has proven very d i f f i c u l t to operationalize. A chooser may have a m u l t i p l i c i t y of goals of varying importance, and may fluctuate between them. These preferences, moreover, may or may not coincide with those a t t r i b u t e d by observers. Modification i n the i n i t i a l assumption of p r o f i t maximization has permitted multiple goals and unspecified psychic goals to be included as well as material p r o f i t s . Again, however, t h i s r a ises the problem of u n f a l s i f i a b l e p r e d i c t i o n s i n that the outcome chosen i s by d e f i n i t i o n the outcome preferred. One proposed methodological so l u t i o n to the ordering of multiple goals i s the technique of c a r d i n a l measurement of u t i l i t y under r i s k . U t i l i t y preferences can be l o g i c a l l y measured on an o r d i n a l scale through simple comparison procedures. The further refinement of ' u t i l i t y under r i s k ' , involving forced choice under the p r o b a b i l i t y of not gett i n g a commodity, achieves a metric scale of measurement (Coleman 1964, 67-8). The t h e o r e t i c a l weakness of t h i s approach i s that i t i s e s s e n t i a l l y s t a t i c . Preference ordering i s conceptualized as f i x e d , with the problem of p r e d i c t i o n being one of correct weighting. I t does not consider the conditions under which t h i s ordering might vary. Katona questions the p o s s i b i l i t y of ever developing a unidimensional order of preferences when many variables are involved (1964, 61). This c r i t i c i s m i s borne out by the problems encountered i n at t i t u d e s c a l i n g . I t has proven impossible to construct a symmetrical, t r a n s i t i v e , unidimensional scale of a t t i t u d e s . People are not consistent enough i n t h e i r choices (Torgerson 1958, ch. 12; Coombs 1953, 417-535). 1 Simon c i t e s one study using simple ~*"See f o r example, Torgerson's discussion of the problem of very poor f i t to the data achieved by Guttman scalogram techniques; or Coombs' parallelogram procedure. Both are designed to scale a t t i t u d i n a l data on a sin g l e , o r d i n a l continuum (1958, 298-359). See also Coombs' discussion of the conceptual weaknesses of many s c a l i n g techniques. They a r b i t r a r i l y impose t r a n s i t i v i t y and/or unidimensionality onto choices, by v i r t u e of the inherent structure of the measurement procedures themselves (1953, 417-535). 16 lottery tickets in which behaviour did approximate the assumption of a single preference ordering. But the more r e a l i s t i c the choice situation, the less this was true. Choice among phonograph records, for example, was far less consistent (Simon 1967, 201-221). Such inconsistency can be interpreted as the subjects 'wanting' to maximize, but erring. The more r e a l i s t i c interpretation i s that in a complex choice situation the formula of u t i l i t y maximization is of l i t t l e relevance. The measurement of u t i l i t i e s i s of limited value unless people's choice of 'A' over 'B1 and \B' over 1C* can provide a basis for predicting their choices in the future. In practice, their preferences may fluctuate with different contexts, different external conditions, new experiences, and so on. Individuals may have multiple interests and values which may change, and be in conflict in a particular decision. The alternative theoretical approach suggested here is to incorporate the recognition that preferences do fluctuate as an explicit part of a theory of choice behaviour. In terms of this perspective, the c r i t i c a l theoretical concern is not with measurement of preferences at the point of choice. It is with examination of those factors which may influence preference ordering throughout the decision process, and the attention and weighting which is given to different dimensions of the options raised. Summary. Determination of Choice Parameters Theories of choice derived from the axiom of rational action have encountered a series of d i f f i c u l t i e s in predicting choice under varying conditions of indeterminateness in parameter values. Modifications have been proposed to weaken the s t r i c t logical requirements of the axiom under such conditions, but these have not appreciably improved i t s 17 predictive u t i l i t y . They have largely failed to break out of the tauto-logical circle of reasoning in which parameter values are deduced from the choices made. It is suggested here that this apparent failure re-flects an inadequate theory of choice, in which parameters are concept-ualized simply as fixed exogenous terms which need to be measured. In the alternative approach proposed here, i t is precisely these parameters which comprise the c r i t i c a l variables to be explained in the theory of choice. The axiom serves only to identify the logical relation between parameters. Choice Parameters in a Social Context This second section considers theories which attempt to apply the axiom of rational action to the prediction of choices where more than one individual i s involved. The social context of choice is i n -corporated into the axiom through the recognition that for many choices the actions and reactions of others, in effect their choices, constitute elements of the parameters which bound an individual's choice. This recognition compounds the problems already encountered above of deter-mining parameter values of choice. Theories of choice in a social context may be divided into two main kinds; those which focus exclusively on an individual in a competitive interaction situation, and those which are concerned with policy choices made by groups of individuals. Game Theory Theories which adopt the f i r s t approach may be loosely combined under the general heading of game theory. The objective of the games i s to predict rational choice as an optimal strategy for an individual in 18 competitive interaction situations. The basic assumption made is that each actor, or player, seeks to maximize his own self interest. Attempts to apply the formula of game theory have generally failed to achieve predictive u t i l i t y in the sense of defining a single outcome for the choice equation. Their application to more elaborate games and interaction situations has forced successive modifications in the i n i t i a l tenets of the axiom. It w i l l be argued below that the major weakness in these approaches l i e s in the i n i t i a l conceptualization of the actions of others as 'external constraints' on individual choice. The actions of others are taken into account, but as s t r i c t l y exogenous terms in the explanation of individual choice. They are summed, along with a l l other factors, under the general headings of perceived 'costs' and 'benefits' which go to make up the static choice equation. This approach parallels the limitations of theories described above which treat parameters of choice as fixed values which can be measured. Game theory was f i r s t clearly formulated in the work of Von Neumann and Morgenstern (1947). The simplest interactive model which they propose is that of a s t r i c t l y competitive zero-sum game between two persons, in which one gains a l l and the other loses a l l . In this highly simplified situation the axiom 'works' in that an optimal outcome can be predicted. The game specifies such restricting assumptions that i t has limited applicability to practical choice situations. Game theory has subsequently been extended to more general models of two or more persons whose goals are not totally opposed. They have potentially broader application, but i t i s here that the weaknesses of the underlying theory become more apparent. These weaknesses are reflected in the 19 failure of the games to predict a solution. There is no optimal strategy (Rapoport 1964, 393-402; Shubik 1964, 31-50). In the simplest non-zero-sum game with only two persons the optimal strategy is less obvious, although s t i l l logically fixed. Game theory can predict an outcome, but only through introducing an important modification into the original axiom. A typical game of this type i s one in which two players are required to choose between two options, such as a red or green object, not knowing what the other w i l l choose. The rules of the game specify that i f both choose green, both are paid one dollar. If both choose red, both lose one dollar. But i f one chooses red, and the other green, then the f i r s t player receives two dollars from his opponent. It appears to be in the self-interest of one person to choose red since he stands to gain two dollars, but i f both do this, both lose. In this case the optimum solution entails consideration not of self-interest alone but of joint interest. It can be handled by the model only in an indirect form since the best interest of the partner must be explicitly introduced into the calculation of consequences. The importance of this modification is emphasized by a slightly more complex version of this game known as the 'prisoners' dilemma'. If both prisoners trust each other i t is in their own best interest to plead innocent and go free. But i f one cannot trust the other i t i s best to plead guilty and implicate the other in order to escape maximum punishment. In this game there is no simple optimal solution or choice for an individual actor. It requires consideration of the character of relations between the two participants, past experience of trustworthiness, 20 awareness of the values of the other, and so on. These variables are not incorporated i n t o the model. The extension of game theory to sit u a t i o n s i n v o l v i n g three or more persons again f a i l s to o f f e r a s o l u t i o n . The formula i s modified to p r e d i c t that a chooser w i l l s e l e c t that c o a l i t i o n which w i l l maximize the diffe r e n c e between the demands of the c o a l i t i o n members and p o t e n t i a l returns from the environment. This p r e s c r i p t i o n gives r i s e to consider-able ambiguities i n a p p l i c a t i o n and can p r e d i c t no c l e a r strategy of s e l f - i n t e r e s t . An example of such a game i s one involving three persons i n which the majority decides who must f o r f e i t payment, such as one d o l l a r , and who be n e f i t s . The rules permit any bargaining. In such a game, players 'A' and 'B' may j o i n a c o a l i t i o n and force 'C to pay them the d o l l a r at f i f t y cents each. However, the c o a l i t i o n strategy does not end here. It i s now i n the i n t e r e s t s of ' C to j o i n with 'A' and o f f e r a 60/40 s p l i t . But then the loser 'B1, can benefit from o f f e r i n g a 70/30 s p l i t to 'A' to j o i n him and desert 'C. The new loser may then o f f e r 'B' a 50/50 s p l i t to desert 'A'. L o g i c a l l y , such a r e s h u f f l i n g of c o a l i t i o n s can' go on i n d e f i n i t e l y with no-one winning f o r more than a b r i e f period. Tullock attempts to apply the l o g i c of such games to a more p r a c t i c a l example of independent farmers voting on property taxes to maintain the l o c a l roads which l i n k t h e i r farms with major state roads. Each farmer i s intere s t e d i n maintaining the section of l o c a l road which he uses, but has no d i r e c t i n t e r e s t i n paying taxes to improve roads only used by other farmers. However, a majority vote of a l l l o c a l farmers i s needed for any taxes to be l e v i e d f o r road repairs. Tullock demonstrates that l o g r o l l i n g or c o a l i t i o n 21 voting i s necessary to obtain such a majority vote, but he can devise no stable or optimal system of bargaining which would ensure that a l l farmers get t h e i r section of road repaired. I t i s always i n the i n t e r e s t s of farmers whose section has been repaired to vote down any further motion f o r taxation to r e p a i r roads i n other areas. Tullock concludes " I t seems cl e a r that the system of majority voting i s not by any means an optimal method for a l l o c a t i n g resources. The primary lesson would appear to be the need for further research" (1969, 178). In e f f e c t , the type of gamesmanship prescribed by the axiom i n the simplest zero-sum game i s disastrous i n these more complex s i t u a t i o n s . They require d i f f e r e n t s t r a t e g i e s from those based on a p r i v a t e s e l f -i n t e r e s t focus. S o l i d a r i t y based on c o l l e c t i v e i n t e r e s t s may have to be given preference, even though t h i s may involve t r u s t i n g a p o t e n t i a l opponent. The elaboration of the axiom of r a t i o n a l a ction i n game theory f a i l s to provide an adequate explanation, or even d e s c r i p t i o n of choice behaviour, i n the context of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . I t i s suggested here that t h i s f a i l u r e i s not due s o l e l y or even p r i m a r i l y to the complexity of the issues involved. I t r e f l e c t s the same basic conceptual weaknesses of the e a r l i e r modifications de-scribed above. Despite the recognition of the relevance of other peoples' actions to choice behaviour of one i n d i v i d u a l , the models of game theory are formulated e n t i r e l y from the perspective of one chooser, and they focus only on the s t a t i c point of choice. Insofar as other people are considered at a l l , they are conceptualized simply as exogenous terms or 'givens' of the environment. No t h e o r e t i c a l analysis i s attempted of the process of i n t e r a c t i o n between players i n a game, or 22 possible ways of exerting mutual influence over choices. The analysis of coalition formation as a self-interest choice made at one point in time breaks down as soon as i t i s applied to choice in a situation of on-going interaction. The failure of the games to reach a 'rational' solution indicates the limitations of theories of choice in social contexts which are based solely on the axiom of rational action. The formulation permits the actions of others 'when known' to be taken into account by the chooser as a parameter value, but i t excludes con-sideration of how such actions come to be known and structured. The web of diverse interests and mutual influence in which the participants are emeshed constitute c r i t i c a l aspects of such actions which these games f a i l to consider. An alternative theoretical approach which is proposed here focuses attention on the longer term pattern of inter-relations between participants, and on the cl a r i f i c a t i o n of those mechanisms through which individuals may exert influence over the choices of others. An empirical study of four specific choices by Cyert, D i l l , and March, is of special interest in terms of this perspective (1964, 288-314). The authors describe the manner in which both subgroups within a business firm and external interest groups influenced the parameters of choices facing the managers. The authors challenge the abstract concept of maximization by pointing out that in a l l four cases the number of alter-natives considered was very small relative to those objectively possible. These were selected primarily because some group in the organization was already predisposed towards them. The only criterion for pushing these preferences was f e a s i b i l i t y , not optimality. Consultants had vested 23 interests in promoting only a few options which they f e l t they could most easily ' s e l l ' to the manager in question. The case studies also ill u s t r a t e the close interaction between desires and expectations in forming estimates of costs and benefits. The 'expert consulting firm' deliberately altered the presentation of cost estimates on di f f e r -ent alternatives to favour their own preferred option (ibid 310). This f l e x i b i l i t y was made possible by the fact that expected costs and returns were measured with reference to a number of different dimensions. They were not readily reducible to a single index. A further decision concerning renovation of old equipment was f i r s t prompted by a serious accident. When this happened the safety advantages of new equipment were given priority emphasis. They were not discussed in dollar terms and early cost estimates were encouragingly optimistic. However, as time passed and the management's concern with the accident receded, cost estimates were repeatedly expanded, and the project was shelved (ibid 292-7). The information on costs appeared to be so decentralized that no one individual had even a rough idea of the total overall cost. When details were sought every new group brought in costs and advantages that other groups had not thought of. These case studies i l l u s t r a t e the potential significance of 'external' interests in defining choice. The actions of others are not simply 'factors to be taken into account' by the chooser. In these instances they served to directly influence the chooser's perception of the choice parameters which he considered. These descriptive insights have central relevance for the theoretical approach to choice behaviour proposed here, in that they direct attention to the examination of 24 mechanisms through which individuals and interest groups may influence the structuring of choice parameters for others. These issues have special significance in the analysis of policy decisions made by groups of individuals, which are considered below. Application to Group Choices The limited predictive u t i l i t y of theorems of rational action is especially apparent in attempts to apply them to choices exercised by groups of people rather than a separate individual. The simplest approach has been to conceptualize such groups as analogous to an individual, and thus to impute to i t a single set of interests and preference ordering for alternatives. Business organiza-tions in particular lend themselves to such a formulation in economic theory. They can be conceptualized as units or 'economic men' in a competitive market situation. While useful for some purposes, this approach bypasses the problem that any organization comprises a collec-tion of individuals with objects which may not always coincide with the o f f i c i a l one. The assumed unity of purpose bypasses the d i f f i c u l t question of the processes by which this mixture of individuals generate a single preference ordering which i s then attributed to the group unit at the point of action. By the same token this approach cannot account for any variations in policy, except through recourse to ad hoc acknowledgement of impinging interests which may distort the economic efficiency of particular firms. An alternative approach which can be loosely termed 'welfare economics', represents an attempt to apply concepts of rational choice 2 5 and maximization to social contexts which explicitly include multiple individuals with different preferences. The maximal or "optimal social welfare function" was i n i t i a l l y defined as the sum or aggregate of the u t i l i t i e s of a l l constituent individuals. Serious objections to this definition have been raised on methodological and logical grounds. The most prominent criticism i s that i t lacks any operational s i g n i f i -cance. Logically such a function requires the interpersonal comparison of cardinal u t i l i t i e s of different individuals, expressed in terms of a common dimension. But as yet there exists no operational procedure by which such knowledge can be gained (Lange 1 9 6 9 , 3 2 ) . In accordance with the definition of optimal social welfare, public policy is set the task of satisfying the preferences of the individual members of the society, but i t provides no guide as to how such policy might be attained. As Harsanyi comments, "in welfare economics we have found that a rational man (whose choices satisfy certain simple postulates of rationality and impartiality) must act as i f he made quantitative interpersonal comparisons of u t i l i t y , even i f his factual information is insufficient to do this on an objective basis ( 1 9 6 9 , 6 0 ) . Various kinds of voting and vote-bargaining procedures have been proposed as a potential method for arriving at an optimal social choice which is derived from the preferences of individuals. It can be demonstrated, however, that when members of a group are asked to rank order several distinct alternatives, no necessary optimal or majority preference may exerge. In effect, there is no fixed social welfare function, and neither plurality voting nor proportional repre-sentation w i l l remove this paradox (Arrow 1 9 6 9 , 1 6 3 ; Black 1 9 6 9 , 1 4 1 ) . 26 Arrow continues that under such circumstances the customary study of maximal states under individualistic assumptions is pointless. The solution must be either imposed or dictated on the basis of some con-vention. The adoption of an imposed solution raises the c r i t i c a l question of "optimal for whom?". Any such solution li e s outside the scope of a s t r i c t l y defined optimal social welfare function. Lange suggests that the issue can be avoided by delegating to some agency of the organized community, such as Congress, the task of assigning a social evaluation to individual u t i l i t i e s , but this amounts to a re-statement of the problem rather than i t s solution. Optimal social welfare becomes simply the optimal preference of members of the agency, however this is derived. It provides no answer to the problem of how such an agency might s o l i c i t and evaluate u t i l i t i e s of different in-dividuals in the total polity. A further conceptual problem in this definition of an optimal social welfare function is that i t expl i c i t l y ascribes equal weighting to the preferences of a l l constituent individuals. Each individual contributes independently to the sum or aggregate social welfare. Carried to i t s logical conclusion i t is inconsistent with any inequal-i t i e s in distribution of incomes and benefits. With any departure from this ideal the optimal social welfare function becomes arbitrary. As a prescription for policy the formula is unworkable except under extremely limiting conditions. As Feldman and Kanter argue, prescriptions for decision-making based on such an approach would be disastrous for any organization. Individual preferences may have high potency but their self-fulfilment in a l l their diverse manifestations would destroy an 27 organization i f there were no counter pressures to assert a collective policy (1965, 637). Concepts of coalition and bargaining have been introduced in an attempt to derive a weighted optimal welfare function from diverse interests. Individuals may be seen as voting between different bundles of commodities. Similarly an organization may be conceptualized as a p o l i t i c a l coalition with a set of would-be p a r t i c i -pants who make varying demands on the system as the price for a coalition (March 1962, 662-678). As noted above, however, self-interest coalitions can provide no necessarily stable or optimal solution which w i l l ensure the relative satisfaction of a l l participants. Nor does this approach resolve the problem of the i n f i n i t e number of potential interested parties which ideally need to be accommodated in any such solution or policy. Concern with diverse preferences cannot be confined to a formal organization in isolation from i t s environment. The en-vironment i t s e l f comprises a network of interdependent interest groups which seek to influence the operations of the organization. Their 'exclusion' necessarily entails deviation from the logical definition of an optimal social welfare function. Again i t forces consideration of imposed solutions, and the mechanisms through which particular interests are incorporated and others subordinated in any such solution. At this point the issue changes from one of determining optimal social welfare to the issue of "optimal for whom?". The problems incurred in the operationalization of an optimal social welfare function as the sum of individual preferences has prompted i t redefinition in terms of a weaker criterion of 'no injury'. According to this modified definition optimal social welfare is achieved when 28 conditions cannot be changed so as to increase the welfare (utility) of one individual without decreasing that of another. The social welfare function is an increasing function of the u t i l i t i e s of individuals, with one state being preferable to another only i f the achievement of one preference i s greater and none i s less. In an ideal situation, i f one alternative is preferred over another by at least one person, while a l l others are indifferent, then that alternative is socially preferable. This formulation does avoid the requirement of optimizing a l l individual preferences in any policy decision but only at the price of incorporating serious conceptual weaknesses. In terms of the theorem the i n i t i a l distribution of shares of any preferred commodity, including income, is completely arbitrary. Any given distribution can be seen as f i t t i n g the optimal condition, in that an increase in the shares to any one person entails a corresponding decrease in shares to another. The theorem gives the solution as the condition under which a poor man's u t i l i t y cannot be increased any more without diminishing the rich man's u t i l i t y (and vice versa) but the level at which the rich man's u t i l i t y is held constant i s arbitrary (Lange 1969, 29). This entails that the issues of stratification and relative equity in the distribution of incomes or benefits become an integral part of the social welfare function. Otherwise the proposed modification provides no optimal solution or guide to policy. Again, this raises the question of "Optimal for whom?". Moreover, as Arrow points out, there i s no reason for confining the range of possible social actions to those which w i l l injure no-one as compared with the i n i t i a l situation, unless the status quo is to be sanctified on ethical grounds (1969, 149). 29 The formulation ignores the i n i t i a l question of how individual preferences may be articulated and weighted in relation to policy. It also leaves unanswered the question of how expressed preferences may be converted into policy. Even in the ideal case of an alternative which is preferred by one person with a l l others indifferent, there is no a p r i o r i assurance that this preference w i l l be instituted by 'indifferent' policy makers. Such issues f a l l outside the domain of welfare economics theorems. Without their inclusion the concept of optimal group choice has no operational significance. The theoretical issues which relate to formation of policy by a group of individuals are fundamentally the same as for the formation of choices by individuals. These concern whose preferences are likely to be articulated as potential alternatives for policy, which preferences are likely to be considered by policy-makers and the relative weighting they may be given. In turn these raise the c r i t i c a l consideration of the mechanisms through which certain interest groups may influence the choice of policy-makers while other interests are subordinated. The outcome may bear no logical or necessary relation to the definition of an optimal social welfare function as the expression of the sum of individual preferences. In conclusion, special consideration is given here to the formulation presented by Belshaw in The Conditions of Social Performance, as one of the most concerted attempts in the literature to carry through the logical implications of the theorem of rational action for societal choices. The very thoroughness with which this i s undertaken makes this presentation a c r i t i c a l i l l u s t r a t i o n of the limitations of this 30 approach as a basis for predictive theory. Belshaw sets out to provide a framework of social and cultural variables that affect social per-formance. He states as the primary objective of his work the develop-ment of indicators to measure such elements These indicators w i l l hopefully provide a comparative profile of the performance of different cultures or p o l i t i e s . Throughout the text he explores systematically the abstract relation between variables, or what are in effect the parameters of rational choice, as they apply witin a polity or group writ large. He proposes f i r s t l y , a behavioural profile of culture, comprising an inventory of a l l goals to which a population committed i t s e l f in a one-year period. The inventory of such goals further pro-vides an indication of values or preference orderings for that polity. The addition of aspirations or future goals provides a par t i a l basis for an inventory of costs as aspirations forgone. A further inventory of the knowledge and s k i l l s available within a community and any materials which are perceived as having u t i l i t y within that culture provides a measure of the resources available for action. He proposes the need to measure the velocity of circulation of ideas as contributing to innovation or an expansion of the alternatives considered and under-taken. Lastly he advocates an indicator of role-complete groups as a basis for inclusion of actors in the achievement of particular actions or goals. Belshaw concludes with the expressed concern that this framework w i l l provide a basis for further investigation, which endeavours to be as economical as possible in the selection of variables, and yet will.enable the influence of changes in the force of variables to be traced (129). The major task for the immediate future he sees as the 31 design of appropriate and manageable indicators of these elements of performance. This formulation is valuable in providing a translation of the parameters of rational individual action to the level of the polity, and a statement of the framework of elements which need to be incorporated at this level. The predictive u t i l i t y of the formulation in relation to actions of a polity, however, is limited by the same conceptual d i f f i -culties already noted with respect to theories derived from the axiom as applied to individual choice. In particular, i t is limited by the pre-occupation with measuring parameters of performance rather than with their prediction. Throughout the text emphasis is on the construction of indicators to measure elements of performance, rather than upon the mechanisms which•determine their measured value at any one time. The behavioural profile provides a measure of interests which have gained prominence within a polity but does not incorporate any assessment of the mechanisms through which certain goals are promoted, or through which other potential goals are excluded. Similarly the inventory of velocity of communication does not incorporate consideration of the mechanisms which determine patterns of communication as an aspect of relations, or as an aspect of power to influence elements in performance. Concepts of power and organization are introduced, in recognition of their role in coordinating activities to achieve performance, but they are not related to the mechanisms through which elements of performance might be altered. The inventory of role-complete groups promises to provide a measure of inclusion, but does not incorporate consideration of the mechanisms which determine inclusion or exclusion of subgroup 32 interests from policy formation within a polity. The concept of change introduced in this formulation relies on the same underlying logical relation between parameters as for individual choice. The formulation demonstrates that changes in the measured values of any one of these elements or parameters has implications for the performance of a polity, but i t does not escape the tautological nature of such relations. As such, the formulation has descriptive, but not predictive u t i l i t y . The alternative approach proposed here u t i l i z e s the concepts of relational aspects of choice in a polity, but departs from this formulation or framework in a different direction from that advocated by the author. The primary concern is not with development of indicators to measure elements in performance. Concern is with the c l a r i f i c a t i o n of mechanisms which structure the parameters of policy decisions within a community. Conclusion A reformulation of decision-making theory is proposed here which applies to prediction of choices by individuals and also to policy decisions by any group of persons. In both cases the axiom of rational action is incorporated as a basic assumption which serves to identify the parameters of choice and the logical relations between them. The measurement of such parameters and the relations between them as aspects of rationality in choice behaviour are not the focus of analysis. Concern is with the examination of mechanisms which structure the parameters of choice. With respect to choice by an individual, this focus entails examination of the mechanisms which influence the range of alternatives 33 likely to be presented and considered, the chooser's appreciation of their varied consequences and weighting of uncertainties in the likely outcome of actions, and also of the variables which may influence the chooser's preference ordering. The same approach applies to the analysis of policy decisions affecting groups of individuals or communities as a whole. Concepts of power are incorporated as funda-mental aspects of these mechanisms which influence choice parameters. The objective of this approach i s not to predict choice as a single act'in time, but to predict the structuring of those parameters in terms of which choices can be made. Decision-Making as a Social Process The theory proposed below identifies three primary mechanisms which influence the formation of choice parameters in a social context. The f i r s t is the flow of information throughout a community. This may affect the range of alternatives known to different individuals and also their possible consequences and modes of implementation. The second mechanism is persuasion. Once some information is received, the credibility of different sources may affect the interpretation of such information by those receiving i t . The third mechanism is control over input f a c i l i t i e s . The distribution of f a c i l i t i e s needed for implement-ing favoured alternatives may directly affect their f e a s i b i l i t y for different individuals. Each of these three mechanisms which structure choice parameters may vary widely with the position of different in-dividuals in the social hierarchy of a community. For those di f f e r -e n t i a l l y advantaged with respect to them, the choices open, even with respect to the same new proposals, may differ on a l l the parameters in 34 terms of which a choice can be made. The range of other alternatives known and information about them, estimation of their l i k e l y consequences, and their perceived and apparent f e a s i b i l i t y , may a l l be different. Where this i s true, any explanation for variation in response in terms of differential preferences or psychological orientation towards innovation cannot be asserted. Furthermore, these mechanisms do not constitute 'givens' of the social context but in turn are subject to influence and potential control. These individuals strategically placed with respect to control over, and access to media for information flow, who command positions of prestige, or who control important material f a c i l i t i e s , are in a position to directly influence the choice parameters of others within the community. In the examination of these processes as they relate to in-dividual choice, i t is necessary to take into account c r i t i c a l aspects of power in social relations, and how the exercise of this power affects the choices open to others. The concept of 'power' in this context, is defined as "the a b i l i t y to exert influence over the structuring of choice parameters of others". This may be through control over informa-tion flow, persuasion, or control over access to necessary input f a c i l i t i e s . The concept of power proposed here has some parallels with that put forward by Blau in his analysis of exchange relations. His starting assumption is that " A l l individuals have a variety of ends which can only be achieved through interaction with others". Hence they must "motivate others to interact and offer the resources sought" (1964, 4-5). He identifies power in this exchange relation as '-the 35 a b i l i t y to impose one's w i l l onto others'. This formula, however, defines power only i n terms of u n i l a t e r a l dependence i n which one person u t i l i z e s his monopoly control over needed resources to force the compliance of others ( i b i d , Ch. 5). In e f f e c t , t h i s monocausal concept of power reduces to a b i - l a t e r a l zero-sum game. I t cannot be applied beyond the s t r i n g e n t l y l i m i t i n g conditions of t o t a l dependence. The outcome here i s l o g i c a l l y f i x e d i n terms of the c i r c u l a r or tauto-l o g i c a l proposition which defines the power r e l a t i o n . Should any loophole e x i s t i n t o t a l dependence ,the power r e l a t i o n , by d e f i n i t i o n , does not apply. The formula merely comprises an extension of the axiom of r a t i o n a l action discussed above. It s u t i l i t y i s further l i m i t e d i n that i t confines attention only to the most overt form of manipulation of e s s e n t i a l f a c i l i t i e s . I t excludes from consideration the many subtler influences over choice parameters of others, which may be equally decisive i n 'imposing one's w i l l ' onto others. Reformulation of Theory: Decision-Making as a S o c i a l Process The theory focuses on three major aspects of the decision process r e l a t i n g to information, persuasion, and f e a s i b i l i t y . These three aspects are c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d i n str u c t u r i n g parameters of choice within a s o c i a l context. 1) Information and Choice The f i r s t aspect of the decision process relates to reception of relevant information i n the areas of choice concerned. The theor-e t i c a l problem i s that of spe c i f y i n g the scope of a l t e r n a t i v e s which enter the f i e l d of choice and what i s known about them. This e n t a i l s 36 the analysis of systems of communication within a community which determine the amount and content of relevant information likely to reach different individuals. Important variables are the primary sources of information, means of communication, l o c i of potential control over such means, and differential access to various sectors of a community. The central assumption made here is that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who control the flow of information, either as primary sources or as intermediaries, w i l l determine the amount, content, and bias in information transmitted. Three specific hypotheses derived from this assumption are: 1) Where particular individuals control access to means of communication within a community, they w i l l encourage the access of close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. 2) Where particular individuals function as intermediaries in the diffusion of information within a community, they w i l l disseminate information primarily to close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. 3) Intermediaries in the diffusion of information w i l l encourage the transmission of any information seen as supporting the objectives of close associates, and obstruct the transmission of information seen as opposed to such objectives. These hypotheses assume that relations between close associates and status equals are more lik e l y to be characterized by ease of contact and 37 i n t e r a c t i o n , and coincidence of i n t e r e s t s and experiences. A l l such factors are l i k e l y to promote the sharing of information. The converse i s also assumed. Informants w i l l be predisposed to l i m i t access and dissemination of information to r i v a l and h o s t i l e sectors of a community. The capacity of any one informant to influence the information received by others i s a function of the range of relevant information sources a v a i l a b l e . The more r e s t r i c t e d these are the greater w i l l be one i n -formant's influence over the choices of others. This may further promote vested i n t e r e s t s among informants i n r e s t r i c t i n g independent access to information as a means of increasing t h e i r personal influence. Such i n t e r e s t s may strengthen the predicted tendency to confine access to close associates. 2) Persuasion and Choice The second aspect of the decision process r e l a t e s to evaluation of new proposals through information received concerning them. The t h e o r e t i c a l problem i s that of specifying how information received w i l l be assessed by the r e c i p i e n t , and the attention i t w i l l be given i n estimating the value of new proposals. The c e n t r a l assumption made here i s that a chooser's perception of the source of information w i l l determine h i s evaluation of the probable q u a l i t y of such information. The following s p e c i f i c hypotheses are derived from t h i s assumption. • The f i r s t two hypotheses concern a chooser's perception of the competence of immediate advisors on the issues i n question. 4) When information on new proposals i s received through i n d i r e c t means, or from sources whose apparent competence 38 is low, i t w i l l have less persuasive impact in promoting innovation than when received directly from competent sources. 5) When information received in new proposals is fragmentary or vague,it w i l l have less persuasive impact in promoting innovation than when information i s precise and detailed. The third hypothesis concerns a chooser's trust in the motives and interests associated with new proposals. 6) When information on new proposals i s initiated from sources associated with previous conflicts, i t w i l l have less per-suasive impact in promoting innovation than when such con-f l i c t s are absent. The f i n a l hypothesis concerns perception of the practicality of new proposals by the recipient. 7) When new proposals are initiated among a wealthier stratum of a community, they w i l l have less persuasive impact in promoting innovation among recipients of progressively lower relative economic position. The same assumption underlies each of these four hypotheses. Low evalu-ation of the guality of information received w i l l reduce an individual's willingness to act on such information, irrespective of the specific proposals raised. 3) Feasibility and Choice The third aspect of the decision process relates to access to all.input f a c i l i t i e s necessary for the implementation of new proposals. The theoretical problem i s that of specifying the determinants of access 39 to any available f a c i l i t i e s by individuals differentially situated within a community, and their allocation between possible alternatives. The central assumption here is that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s , either directly or through their distribution, w i l l determine pr i o r i t i e s in access granted, the conditions of access, and their allocation between competing alterna-tives. The following specific hypotheses are derived from this assumption: 8) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l favour close associates i) in the extent of access, and i i ) in the conditions under which access is granted. 9) Where there are competing objectives for u t i l i z a t i o n of input f a c i l i t i e s , those who control such f a c i l i t i e s w i l l allocate them towards objectives which favour close associates. 10) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l obstruct access to them for any alternatives perceived as in conflict with the objectives of close associates. The condition placed on these hypotheses is that those who control f a c i l i t i e s w i l l , in turn, be influenced by the extent and direction of any sanctions contingent upon the way in which f a c i l i t i e s are allocated. This general theory assumes that individuals prefer to associate with others of similar or homogeneous social position. Within similar strata there is a greater likelihood of congruent interests, which in turn favours frequent interaction and the exchange of reciprocal services. A l l .such attributes are likely to promote the sharing of information, 40 advice, and resources. These concepts of close associates and status equals are operationalized in terms of faction, caste, and class ranking in Indian village communities. These terms are defined more precisely in the following chapter-on methodology. Conclusion: Theoretical Objectives The primary objective of this proposed re-formulation is to provide a broad theoretical framework for the analysis of decision-making processes. The hypotheses stated are not intended as an exhaustive l i s t i n g of a l l mechanisms or strategies for exerting influence over choice parameters. They provide a particular focus for analysis which may subsequently be elaborated and refined. Blalock has pointed out that currently in social science literature there is no shortage of propositions to be found relating to varied social phenomena. For the most part, i t i s possible to demonstrate that they 'have a bearing' on the phenomenon in question. But in the absence of a general theoretical framework linking these disparate propositions, their practical pre-dictive value is limited. The alternative which Blalock advocates and which is attempted here, is to concentrate f i r s t l y on the development of a broad causal model. Such a model serves to block out classes of variables. Subsequently, i t is possible to narrow the focus. Certain classes may be selected for more intensive examination without losing sight of the general significance of their position in relation to the total framework of the theory (Blalock 1967, ch. 6). Blau's concern with dependence and compliance relations constitutes one such specialized focus. Others include communications theory, cognitive perception, symbolic interaction theory, and so on. The significance of these and 41 other bodies of theory i n the t o t a l decision-making process can be determined through t h e i r r o l e i n s t r u c t u r i n g the c r i t i c a l parameters of choice. The following study examines some of these s o c i a l processes as they structure choice behaviour i n response to development p r o j e c t s . This analysis i s confined to v i l l a g e communities. The implications of t h i s theory of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s as determinants of choice parameters, however, c l e a r l y extend beyond these a r b i t r a r y boundaries. CHAPTER TWO DECISION PROCESSES AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT The objective of Community Development Programmes is to promote planned innovation within rural communities. They are directly concerned with structuring choice for individual villagers, and also for policy decisions which affect communities as a whole. The organisation and implementation of these programmes are bri e f l y examined below with special reference to India. The following review of current literature indicates the relevance and implications of the proposed theory for decision processes in this context, and the issues for analysis which are raised by specific hypotheses. Implementation of Programmes in India Community Development Blocks have been established throughout India, each Block encompassing roughly one hundred villages. The Block team comprises a Senior Development Officer (BDO), his assistants, and multi-purpose f i e l d workers, variously known as Gram Sevaks or Village-level-workers (VLW's). The administration of the Blocks is designed to operate in close cooperation with elected councils or panchayats within the villages, and at d i s t r i c t level (Subramaniam 1972, 98-9). Additional districts were selected after 1967 for Intensive Agricultural Development Programmes (IADP), these having increased provision of personnel and agricultural inputs. The primary goal of the programmes is to promote modern agricultural technology associated with the "Green Revolution" in 42 43 wheat and rice, but they also incorporate projects in nutrition, sanitation, family planning, supplementary employment, and provision of public amenities within the villages. i The overall impact of these programmes appears to be small and highly localized. In aggregate figures for the country some improvement is evident in the c r i t i c a l indicator of agricultural output. Food production is estimated to have almost doubled during the period from 1950 to 1970, but this has barely kept pace with the increase in population. Much of the increase in yield has been attributed to in-creased acreage rather than improved agricultural techniques, (Abel 1970, A5), and further expansion promises to be more d i f f i c u l t . Traditional methods of agriculture s t i l l appear to predominate over most of the country, and vagaries of weather are claimed to exert a greater influence on yields than the cumulative effect of twenty years of development effort (Mellor 1968, 3). Localised studies of d i s t r i c t s selected for intensive development efforts indicate that not infrequently agricultural output shows l i t t l e improvement over previous conditions, or over control dist r i c t s which lack such agencies (Desai 1972, 148-152; Brown 1971, 93-2; Vyas 1970, 1-5). Secondary aspects of the programmes have achieved generally less impact than agriculture. The State of Uttar Pradesh, which is the location of the present study, has been described as the most backward in the country, - a State where "inertia to planned development has f i l t e r e d deep and wide" (Tewari 1970, 134). Subsoil water i s relatively p l e n t i f u l throughout the State but most of i t remains untapped. Soils are poor in phosphorous and nitrogen and yet f e r t i l i z e r consumption lags far behind recommended targets (ibid 137-8). . 44 Response to the programmes appears to be concentrated among a narrow stratum of wealthy, large landowners. The technology i s acknowledged to be 'scale neutral', being p o t e n t i a l l y applicable to the smallest p l o t of land, but i n p r a c t i c e the large landowners appear cons i s t e n t l y more l i k e l y to adopt major innovations i n a g r i c u l t u r e and to derive s i g n i f i c a n t economic benefits from the schemes (Majumdar 1970, A3; Vyas 1970, 4; Joshi 1968, 458; Frankel 1971, 192-3). They are acclaimed by some authors as the more progressive and e n t e r p r i s i n g sector of the r u r a l communities, hence j u s t i f y i n g the concentration of development e f f o r t s upon such farmers i n order to maximize rates of a g r i c u l t u r a l growth (Majumdar 1970, A4-5; Rogers et a l . 1970, Ch. 8, page 13). More widespread concern i s voiced regarding the e f f e c t of increasing economic d i s p a r i t i e s i n promoting unrest and p o l i t i c a l r a d icalism among the poorer s t r a t a (Brown 1970, 42; Frankel 1971, 191-215). They stress the urgent need to spread the benefits of development pro-grammes among the r u r a l poor i f major uprisings are to be avoided. For these authors the Green Revolution s p e l l s not s a l v a t i o n from famine but a Pandora's box of troubles (Brown 1970, 42; Wharton 1969, 467). C r i t i c a l issues f o r analysis i n t h i s context thus concern the evidence of i n e r t i a and l i m i t e d response to the programmes generally, and the contrasting rapid innovation i n l o c a l i s e d areas and among the r u r a l e l i t e s . A theory of decision processes which i s applicable to the programmes must seek to account for t h i s dual pattern of response. The theory proposed above focuses on three c r i t i c a l mechanisms which structure choice parameters. These are control over information flow, persuasion, and co n t r o l over input f a c i l i t i e s . The following review 45 examines the p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of these factors i n s t r u c t u r i n g d i f f e r e n t i a l response to development programmes, and the extent to which these issues have been addressed i n current research. Information Flow The f i r s t aspect of the theory concerns reception of relevant information as t h i s determines the scope of a l t e r n a t i v e s which may enter the f i e l d of choice f o r d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s and what i s known about them. The basic assumption of the theory i s that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who con t r o l information w i l l determine the amount, content and bias i n information received by others within a community. S p e c i f i c hypotheses p r e d i c t that those i n con t r o l w i l l favour close associates i n granting access to channels f o r d i r e c t information, and also i n further d i f f u s i o n of information. Moreover, the content of any i n f o r -mation which they transmit w i l l be censored i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . In the context of development programmes these hypotheses r a i s e questions concerning the channelling of information and d i f f e r -e n t i a l b a r r i e r s to knowledge of proposed innovations. I t i s expected that d i f f e r e n t * s t r a t a of the v i l l a g e communities w i l l evidence s i g n i f i -cantly d i f f e r e n t opportunities f o r obtaining information, with the p o s i t i o n of primary intermediaries providing the key i n d i c a t o r of p r e f e r e n t i a l access. Current l i t e r a t u r e on projects i n India i s summarised below with respect to evidence of e f f e c t i v e information flow on the programmes, and i n d i c a t i o n s of d i f f e r e n t i a l b a r r i e r s to d i f f u s i o n . The importance of adequate communication concerning technological innovations i s generally recognized i n these programmes. Special emphasis has been placed on extension education, p a r t i c u l a r l y through 46 the medium of village-level-workers. Multi-media techniques have been adopted in particular Blocks to publicize the programmes through interaction between o f f i c i a l s and villagers, public meetings and clubs, and through mass media channels of radio, cinema, and literature (Dube 1958, 103-113). The effectiveness of information dissemination has not always been impressive. Some studies do indicate that in d i s t r i c t s selected for intensive development efforts the level of information among villagers was significantly higher than surrounding control villages (Nanda 1972, 112; Mukherjee 1970, A17). Other studies document widespread ignorance of the programmes among villagers included within the development d i s t r i c t s . In one case as many as half the villagers interviewed appeared to be largely ignorant of programme activities one year after i t s inauguration in the d i s t r i c t . Respondents appeared to have only the vaguest knowledge of specific projects undertaken (Dube 1958, 104-114; Dube 1967, 140-6). Lack of information is frequently cited as a cause of non-adoption of projects (Khan 1972, 97; Mencher 1970, 1191) S. Rao 1970, A177). The characteristics of those respondents who do appear well informed are highly selective. Rogers categorizes them as generally larger farmers with modernized commercial farms, better educated than the average villager, and more likely to hold leadership positions in local organizations (1962, ch. 6; 1969, ch. 8). In effect they are the rural e l i t e s . Further studies suggest that these traits hold consistently across several different countries (Rogers et a l . 1970, ch. 3). Rogers assumes that these better informed respondents are self-selective of the more venturesome, and cosmopolite individuals who actively seek 47 outside contacts and information (1969, 146-168). Other studies ind i -cate that selective exclusion from access to informed sources may also be a c r i t i c a l factor in differential knowledge. Villages which are relatively inaccessible or backward are less l i k e l y to receive regular v i s i t s from Block personnel. In consequence, aggregate levels of information on development programmes tend to be lower than in more favoured villages (Khan 1972, 99). Also, not a l l sectors within villages are equally likely to receive attention. Leaders of the village councils are particularly advantaged in having regular access to government o f f i c i a l s and extension workers outside the village, (Minz 1970, 1889), but the majority of these incumbents are drawn from the rural elites of higher caste and wealthy landowners. The average farmer rarely has any contact with o f f i c i a l s above the level of VLW's or Block administrators (Mencher 1970, 1191). While most villagers enjoy some contacts outside their home village, (Opler 1967, 42-47), these are unlikely to be significant as informants on technical details of the development pro-grammes. Extension workers on their part often appear to favour contacts with well-to-do sectors of the communities and with middle class farmers of similar socio-economic status to themselves. They have l i t t l e i n -centive to work with the poor and i l l i t e r a t e s who comprise the majority of villagers (Mencher 1970, 1192). Lower castes appear the least l i k e l y to receive information directly from extension workers (Nanda 1972, 113; Khan 1972, 37). There are some indications that village elites may deliberately seek to limit the extent of contact between o f f i c i a l s and the lower strata, in fear that i t might undermine their own position of command (Mencher 1970, 1195). 48 Mass media appear to- play only a limited role as independent channels for communication. Newspaper circulation is restricted by i l l i t e r a c y , but radio also is not widely cited as an important source of information. Problems of dialect, bookish language, urban orienta-tion, and limited relevance for villagers, a l l appear to limit the effectiveness of mass media for information transmission within the villages (Nanda 1972, 115; Dube 1958, 107; Rao 1966, 590; Epstein 1962, 115) . When these many different accounts are combined they suggest that effective access to primary sources of information on development programmes may well be confined to a select minority of villagers. Information diffusion from these intermediaries to others also appears to be both limited and selective. Dramatic news items have been shown to spread rapidly, (Rogers 1969, 1; Dube 1967, 140-2), but not so the technical information relevant for development programmes. Studies of special broadcasts and training sessions indicate that dissemination of information from participants to others may be extremely restricted (Sinha & Metha 1972, 421; Roy et a l . 1969, 54, & 110). Information diffusion has been conceptualised as an exponential function of the proportion of a community already informed, (Rogers 1962, 215; Coleman 1964, 432), but in practice members of different strata may well not mix together or interact sufficiently for information to flow readily between them. It appears especially unlikely between high caste and low caste sectors (Beteille 1965, 19-35; Epstein 1973, 113). Public meetings of village panchayats are intended to function as organized forums for debate and information exchange, but such meetings 49 are commonly described as infrequent and with selective attendance. Low caste representatives appear most likely to be excluded. Beteille 1965, 160; Epstein 1962,N129). The el i t e 'opinion leaders' may also appear too rich and powerful for other villagers to willingly approach them to seek advice, particularly on sensitive issues such as family planning (Mencher 1970, 1196). Few studies provide data of sufficient detail to assess the extent of distortion in information transmitted to others. Specific references to the suppression of information on tenant's rights and on land reform, (Ladejinsky 1971, 174), and also of exaggerated o f f i c i a l reports of programme activities and achievements, (Valsen 1970, 74-5; Mellor 1968, 62), do testify to the potential significance of such practices on the operation of the programmes. In summary, many of the findings of these studies appear to be consistent with the proposed theory of information control. The combined accounts suggest that communication has generally not proven effective, and there are indications of differential access to knowledge by various strata of the communities, and also of information distortion. Some authors have drawn attention to the significance of restricted information as a barrier to adoption of proposals in specific instances. None of these studies, however, provide an adequate basis for testing the hypotheses generated by the theory. The dynamics of communication have rarely been subject to comprehensive examination, arid l i t t l e attempt has been made to relate particular findings to any comprehensive theory of information flow as a social process. The explanations offered rely mainly on inferences from specific findings without any systematic 50 c o n t r o l of implied causal var i a b l e s . The present study goes beyond t h i s l a r g e l y d e s c r i p t i v e research, to examine more systematically the extent to which causal variables s p e c i f i e d i n the theory can account for - and p r e d i c t - d i f f e r e n t i a l information flow on the development programmes. Persuasion The second c r i t i c a l issue i n the proposed theory of d e c i s i o n processes concerns mechanisms of persuasion, as these a f f e c t the i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n and evaluation of new proposals. The main assumption of the theory i s that a chooser's perception of informants w i l l determine the evaluation of information received. S p e c i f i c hypotheses assert that new proposals w i l l have l i m i t e d persuasive impact i n promoting innova-t i o n when immediate informants are perceived by the chooser to be i n -competent, or information i t s e l f i s fragmentary, and also when the chooser has reason to d i s t r u s t the motives and intentions of persons responsible for i n i t i a t i n g new proposals, or sees those involved as so advantaged r e l a t i v e to himself that emulation appears i m p r a c t i c a l . In the context of development programmes these hypotheses r a i s e guestions concerning d i f f e r e n t i a l experiences with extension workers, and the bases f o r appraisal of the q u a l i t y of advice from them, and the apparent relevance of the programmes f o r d i f f e r e n t economic s t r a t a of the commun-i t i e s . I t i s expected that when the conditions f o r such appraisal are negative,they w i l l be associated with l i m i t e d response to proposed innovations, compared with more favourable conditions. The major findings of current research and explanations o f f e r e d with respect to these issues are summarized below. 51 The f i r s t variable in the proposed theory is perception of the quality of information received. The credibility accorded to o f f i c i a l s from outside the local community has been conceptualized by Rogers as a reflection of a modernistic and cosmopolitan orientation, which, he suggests, is the antithesis of the traditional cultural outlook of peasants (Rogers et a l . 1970, Ch. 4, pg. 13). However, there are indications that villagers may well have good reasons for scepticism regarding the quality of advice and information they receive from exten-sion workers. Not a l l have proven competent in traditional.methods of farming, and a high proportion lack sufficient training to ful l y under-stand the new technology they are responsible for teaching to villagers (Mellor 1968, 37). The not uncommon outcome has been serious errors in the practical implementation of the programmes (Hunter 1969, 114-119). The low status of village-level workers at the bottom rung of the develop-ment bureaucracy i s also unlikely to enhance their image as competent teachers in the eyes of the average villager (Mencher 1970, 1191). Furthermore, the information which is received may well not be such as to justify any high level of confidence in i t s accuracy, particularly when disseminated at second or third hand (Sinha & Metha 1972, 421). Different accounts reveal important gaps in technical information which has reached the villagers. Some appeared unaware of chemical properties or modes of application of new inputs in agriculture, (S. Rao 1970, 177). Extension workers have omitted to explain the significance of proposed stock reduction for s o i l conservation, (Rogers 1962, 371), or the relation between sanitation and disease prevention, (Fraser 1968, 237), or have failed to c l a r i f y the new contraceptive devices available and 52 how they work (Mencher 1970, 1193). Such omissions have sometimes been prompted by the belief that villagers would be unable to under-stand such explanations, but the outcome may well be that villagers lack any rational basis for abandoning traditional practices. This is especially so where inept t r i a l of innovations have resulted in insignificant benefits (Khan 1972, 97). A further variable stressed by the theory is trust in the motives of those who i n i t i a t e new proposals. Distrust and h o s t i l i t y towards o f f i c i a l s has again been conceptualized as an attribute of Peasant subcultures, (Rogers 1969, 29-30), but there are indications that experiences with extension workers and government o f f i c i a l s have not always been such as to encourage trust in them. Where villagers have f e l t snubbed and ignored by extension workers in the past they may well feel l i t t l e incentive to take any active interest in training programmes or proposals sponsored by them (Roy et a l . 1969, 98). Accounts of favouritism shown by extension workers to elites or certain factions within the communities, and of corruption in office, are also likely to generate suspicion and distrust among the disfavoured (Dube 1958, 119; Breman 1974, 223; Beals 1974, 138-9). The theory also emphasises the perceived relevance of develop-ment programmes for different economic strata. The new technology has been heralded as size-neutral, entailing no major i n d i v i s i b i l i t i e s or lumpy inputs, (Khan 1972, 3; Ladejinsky 1972, 404), but small farmers have been commonly assumed to have limited propensity to take risks, or to experiment with innovations (Rogers 1962, 185; 1971, 183-189; 1970, Ch. 4; Parthasarathy 1974, 184; Majumdar 1970, A5). Again 53 however, the manner of presentation of the programmes may provide good reason for small farmers to perceive innovations as impractical for themselves. Responses which have been categorised as 'disinterestedness 1 in innovations among poorly educated respondents, have been expressed by respondents themselves in terms of perceived prohibitive costs (Nanda 1972, 103-106). L i t t l e further data is given concerning factors which might promote or reinforce such perceptions. Something of a s e l f - f u l f i l l i n g prophesy may obtain where encouragement to innovate is concentrated among wealthy farmers who are preconceived by extension workers as more innovative (Roling et a l . 1974, 5). In the rare instances where this policy has been deliberately reversed with extension efforts being concentrated among the smallest farmers, their adoption of innovations has dramatically increased (ibid 20-21; Ascroft et a l . 1973, 63-70; Shastry 1971, A97). The manner of presentation appears to have considerable influence on how poorer farmers perceive and respond to innovations. A further issue concerns how this approach to persuasion relates to the more common emphasis on cultural values as determinants of how new proposals w i l l be evaluated. ' The apparent disinterest and rejection of development programmes has been attributed to prevailing subcultural value orientations among villagers which are inimical to change (Rogers 1969, ch. 2). An explicit objective of development programmes was to change the attitudes and outlook of rural peoples, as both an end in i t s e l f and a necessary condition for increasing agricultural production (Mellor 1968, 35). Such negative orientations have been particularly attributed to lower castes in India. They have 54 been described as oriented p r i m a r i l y towards t r a d i t i o n a l s a n s k r i t i c values, rather than western values of i n d i v i d u a l achievement which are conducive to modernization (Srinivas 1956, 481-496; 1966, ch. 2). V i l l a g e r s themselves have occasionally endorsed t h i s conception. Labourers have been described by large farmers as incapable of breaking old habits to learn new techniques such as l i n e sowing, and t h i s i s c i t e d by the farmers as a major j u s t i f i c a t i o n for t h e i r h i r i n g outside labour (Epstein 1973, 60). V i l l a g e r s are not infrequently c i t e d as gi v i n g apparently t r i v i a l reasons of habit and custom f o r r e j e c t i n g new proposals (Dube 1958, 133-137; Fraser 1968, 252-257). Numerous studies have attempted to measure the association between adoption of innovations and assumed modern over t r a d i t i o n a l values, but with mixed r e s u l t s . Some recent research i n India records a high c o r r e l a t i o n between adoption and measured attitudes, (Rangaswamy 1972, 156), while others f i n d the ass o c i a t i o n vague or not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t (Trivedi 1975, 65; Boyd 1971, 54). Yet other t h e o r i s t s stress that t r a d i t i o n a l values may both aid and i n h i b i t change, with no predetermined one-way r e l a t i o n between them (Gould 1970, 1171-1176; Smock 1969, 110-124; Gus f i e l d 1967, 351-362). In some contexts t r a d i t i o n a l values, including s a n s k r i t i z a t i o n and casteism have been d i r e c t l y invoked as j u s t i f y i n g pressures f o r p o l i t i c a l change (Mahar 1959; Cohn 1958, 420; Rudolph 1968, 538-549). Few studies attempt to d i r e c t l y examine the contextual factors which may sustain or undermine t r a d i t i o n a l a t t i t u d e s , or which may promote a r e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of values i n favour of change. As ind i c a t e d above, there are concrete experiences which may generate scepticism, d i s t r u s t , and low r i s k - t a k i n g p o t e n t i a l commonly associated 55 with the subculture of lower strata of peasants, which have direct implications for how villagers w i l l respond to new proposals sponsored through the development programmes. In this approach values are con-ceptualized as mediating between experience and response, rather than as independent causal agents (Hale 1975, 32-36). In summary, these studies again offer some supportive evidence for the proposed theory. There are recurrent indications that condi-tions for persuasion are largely negative for wide sectors of the village communities, and some authors have suggested their potential importance for innovation. Such accounts, however, provide l i t t l e more than piecemeal observations. None of the studies present any compre-hensive or controlled examination of factors restricting persuasion. Separate observations have not been related to any systematic theory of persuasion. The factor of adequate knowledge of new proposals is sometimes acknowledged as a limiting condition on persuasion, but this has not been controlled in subsequent analysis of willingness to inno-vate. Widespread references are made to the role of value orientations in persuasion, but again the conditions which promote such appraisals have generally been ignored, or at best l e f t as implicit assumptions in the accounts. It is impossible on the basis of these studies to derive any clear appraisal of causal variables which goes beyond suggestive inferences. The present study pulls these scattered insights together in relation to a more systematic theory of persuasion. It attempts to measure the extent to which the causal variables specified in the above hypotheses can predict differential rates of non-adoption among informed 56 v i l l a g e r s . Input F a c i l i t i e s The l a s t aspect of the proposed theory of decision processes concerns access to av a i l a b l e input f a c i l i t i e s , as t h i s determines the range of f e a s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s for i n d i v i d u a l s d i f f e r e n t i a l l y s i t u a t e d within a community. The general assumption made here i s that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who con t r o l input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l determine p r i o r i t i e s i n t h e i r u t i l i z a t i o n by others, and t h e i r a l l o c a t i o n between competing a l t e r n a t i v e s . S p e c i f i c hypotheses p r e d i c t that those who control input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l favour close associates both i n the extent of access to f a c i l i t i e s , and the conditions under which access i s granted. Moreover, they w i l l favour the a l l o c a t i o n of funds to projects most conducive to the objectives of t h e i r own sector of the communities, and obstruct any which c o n f l i c t with these objectives. Questions r a i s e d with respect to the development programmes concern the channelling of input f a c i l i t i e s made a v a i l a b l e , and d i f f e r e n t i a l opportunities to be n e f i t from them. I t i s expected that d i f f e r e n t sectors of the communities w i l l evidence s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t opportunities for access to, and ben e f i t from funds, with the p o s i t i o n of those who contr o l the funds providing a key i n d i c a t o r of the d i r e c t i o n i n which bias w i l l occur. Data r e l a t i n g to input f a c i l i t i e s and proposed i n t e r -pretations of these findings i n current research are b r i e f l y reviewed below. Investment f a c i l i t i e s provided by the government to support new projects include low-interest c r e d i t , a g r i c u l t u r a l supplies, and a 57 range of special-purpose loans and grants. These are variously administered through the Blocks, or through village panchayats and cooperative societies. The expansion of rural capital has been heralded as the single most significant factor promoting development, more significant than a l l other aspects of the programmes combined -including changes in social organization and land reform (Neale 1962, 149, & 221-2). However, there are many indications of barriers to the effective u t i l i z a t i o n of f a c i l i t i e s which cannot be dissociated from patterns of social organization. A common observation is that small landowners have derived limited benefit from credit f a c i l i t i e s , and their disadvantage relative to wealthier applicants appears to be increasing (Hanumantha Rao 1970, A157-158). This has been attributed to rules of e l i g i b i l i t y which tie credit to the amount of land which is offered as collateral. The requirement of security has been so rigidly enforced that loans of only half the total value of mortgaged lands have been sanctioned, and the method of evaluation used has also tended to undervalue the lands (Jodha 1971, A145). One consequence of this policy is that small farmers may recieve credit to only one-half or less of the purchase cost of new assets. Such underfinancing serves to perpetuate a vicious c i r c l e of dependence on traditional moneylenders, or to render new investments out of reach (ibid, A145; Ojha 1970, 604; H. Rao 1970, A157-158; Ladejinsky 1969, 152-153). Commercial lending appears to reinforce existing income and wealth distribution. The expansion of credit on these terms serves only to lower the effective margin of those included among the 'credit-worthy' (Harvey 1975, 91). The policy has been justified on the assumption that small landholders 58 lack the necessary economic base to absorb credit, or to benefit from investment (Neale 1962, 4; Frankel 1971, 20-23; Dobbs 1972, 116). This assumption is tempered by a series of studies which indicate that output per acre may be as great or greater on small holdings compared with large farms when farmers have adequate access to input f a c i l i t i e s (Brown 1970, 111; Chowdhury 1970, A95; Rani 1971, A89). Joint loans to small farmers and cooperative investment plans have also proven viable alternatives to provision of credit s t r i c t l y on the basis of landholdings (Raper 1970, 65-77; Frankel 1971, 68). Other proposals to increase the flow of credit to smallholders include linking credit to the production potential of new assets, (Jodha 1971, A146), or to be a statutory charge on the crop and on personal security, (Shivamaggi 1968, 251). Further recommendations are for concessionary interest rates for small landholders, (Madalgi 1970, 11; H. Rao 1971, A161), and provision of special grants on the basis of landlessness rather than scheduled caste status (Epstein 1973, 245). These and other schemes designed to benefit smallholders owning five acres or less were incorporated in the Small Farmer Development Agency established in 1970 by the Indian Government as part of the Fourth Plan (Gaikwad 1971, 9-12). The many policy recommendations favouring increased provision of credit and aid to small farmers have not proven easy to implement. Changes in rules of e l i g i b i l i t y prompted a shift in concern from proof of collateral to proof of 'special status'. Members of the upper strata who pressured to be classified as "backward" castes in order to be eligible for Harijan Aid schemes, (Epstein 1973, 188), exerted 59 s i m i l a r pressures to be classed as 'small landholders' i n order to claim benefits under the new scheme. Considerable bureaucratic delays appear to have revolved around the d e f i n i t i o n of a 'small farmer' (Mencher 1970, 1191; Gaikwad 1971, 20; Schaffer 1975, 13). The problems of access rather than a v a i l a b i l i t y of funds i s emphasised by the obser-vation that only a small proportion of funds a l l o c a t e d by the govern-ment for the Small Farmers' Scheme was a c t u a l l y spent during the f i r s t years of i t s operation (Gaikwad 1971, 29; Schaffer 1975, 13). Concentration of con t r o l over cooperative i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the hands of larger landowners appears to be c l o s e l y associated with ease of access by members of t h i s stratum. Any requests f o r loans and aid must go through the s o c i e t i e s ' leaders, and applications from t h e i r supporters have frequently received s p e c i a l consideration (Reddy 1970, 1703; Gaikwad 1971, 1; Havens 1975, 469). Applicants f o r a loan may have to f i l l out as many as twelve forms which have to be cleared by several departments. Those who are i l l i t e r a t e and l e a s t able to handle the paperwork or to pressure o f f i c i a l s appear at a d i s t i n c t disadvantage. The hope of getting 'speed money' can also considerably delay the ap p l i c a t i o n of those who do not p r o f f e r i t (Reddy 1970, 1703; Schaffer 1975, 13-14). Large landowners who dominate the s o c i e t i e s may also have vested i n t e r e s t s i n excluding small c u l t i v a t o r s , p a r t i c u l a r l y i f they themselves operate as l o c a l moneylenders. V i l l a g e r s who are re-fused admission may appeal to the Registrar of Cooperatives, but t h i s presupposes that they know t h e i r r i g h t s and how to exercise them (Shivamaggi 1968, 251-255; Schaffer 1975, 17). The impression conveyed by these many accounts i s that the s p e c i a l schemes have proven l a r g e l y i n e f f e c t i v e i n extending c r e d i t and a i d to the poor. 60 Other projects intended to benefit small farmers and labourers have commonly not been undertaken or completed, the few exceptions being projects which also benefitted large landowners in the region (Gaikwad 1971, 29-38). Proposals which operate to the disadvantage of eli t e s , particularly in relation to land reform,have rarely been successfully implemented. Administrators appear to show l i t t l e commitment to ensuring the enforcement of such legislation, especially in instances where they themselves might stand to lose (Ladejinsky 1968, 415; 1971, 174; C l i f f e 1971, 89). The converse pattern of preferential allocation of funds appears to be considerably influenced by the p o l i t i c a l ties of incumbent Presidents of the d i s t r i c t councils, to the extent that certain villages are clearly favoured over others in the distribution of grants (Reddy 1970, 1702; Dubey 1975, 79; Sharma 1974, 105). Such decisions have been conceptualised as 'non-rational' from the perspective of maximizing benefits from investments (Dubey 1975, 76), but they are clearly advantageous for the individuals immediately concerned. In summary, the incidence of preferential access to funds and selective allocation between projects cited in these studies are closely consistent with the proposed theory of control over input f a c i l i t i e s . Again, however, the approaches taken by these studies are largely piece-meal and descriptive. Various explanations have been offered for particular findings, but they have not been drawn together in relation to any systematically tested 'theory of resource allocation. Data are not generally presented in sufficiently controlled a manner to permit the causal significance of different factors to be assessed,or to permit the evaluation of conflicting explanations offered. Remedies 61 suggested on the basis of p a r t i a l and ex-post factum inte r p r e t a t i o n s have not proven e f f e c t i v e . A very recent work by Schaffer does attempt to present a general theory of access to government i n s t i t u t i o n s / b u t as yet t h i s i s not formulated as a set of testable propositions, n o r r e l a t e d to any systematic analysis of d i f f e r e n t i a l conditions of access within a community. The present study provides a framework f o r the systematic analysis of causal variables which underly d i f f e r e n t i a l b e n e f i t from f a c i l i t i e s , and a c o n t r o l l e d basis for evaluating the u t i l i t y of a l t e r -native explanations proposed. Conclusion Considerable supportive evidence for various aspects of the proposed theory of decision processes can be found i n current l i t e r a t u r e on development programmes. None of these studies, however, provides an adequate basis for t e s t i n g underlying causal r e l a t i o n s h i p s s p e c i f i e d i n the theory. Explanations which have been offered for p a r t i c u l a r findings are based l a r g e l y on inferences drawn from observed data rather than c o n t r o l l e d t e s t i n g of proposed causal v a r i a b l e s . For the most part they are r e l a t e d only to s p e c i f i c instances, and lack g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y to other s i t u a t i o n s or to any broader t h e o r e t i c a l framework. In no study have the d i f f e r e n t stages i n the decision process been incorporated into a comprehensive analysis of response to innovation. The c e n t r a l objective of t h i s study i s to integrate the analysis of information flow, persuasion, and resource control into a comprehensive explanatory theory of decision processes and to provide a c o n t r o l l e d t e s t of the 62 p r e d i c t i v e u t i l i t y of proposed causal varia b l e s , and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s between them. CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH PROCEDURES The study was conducted in the central plains of North India, in the State of Uttar Pradesh. This i s a relatively f e r t i l e agricultural region. Land is low-lying, and is irrigated by means of canals and ponds and also underground water which is not far below the surface. The two,staple crops are wheat and rice, with some l e n t i l s , sugarcane, and vegetables. The five villages included in the study are a l l within each reach of a major trunk road which links them with a large town some twelve to twenty-five miles away. The f i f t h village is reached by an unmetalled road but this is in good condition and can be used by motor transport even in the rainy season. Bus services to the town run every two hours or so along the trunk roads. The two villages closest to the town are also directly served by railway stations. The five villages are incorporated within two separate Development Blocks. The major consideration in their selection was that o f f i c i a l s from the Block have been actively working in the village for several years preceding the study. Two of the villages are close to the Block headquarters, and Block workers have resided in, or close by, the remaining three villages. A second factor was size. The selected villages each have a separate panchayat or village council, but are also sufficiently small to make i t possible to interview a l l resident families. A third factor was simply convenience. The villages are a l l within easy cycling distance of the two locations where I lived. No 64 prior records were available to indicate the relative success of the development programmes in different villages. The map on the following page shows the location of the five villages in relation to the nearby town and infrastructure. Other identifying features of the area are omitted to retain the anonymity of the communities. The villages di f f e r with respect to local opportunities for access to markets, schools and other f a c i l i t i e s . Three villages are close to large market centres which are stimulated by road junctions and bus transfer stations. These centres provide some opportunity for employment and petty vending activities for the villagers. The second and f i f t h villages are located some distance away from the markets but many farmers and venders do make the trip regularly on market days. A l l the villages now have primary schools up to grade five and the f i f t h has a middle school up to grade seven. High schools are located only in the market centres, with intercolleges for grades eleven and twelve situated close to the f i r s t and fourth villages. Respondents The study is based on interviews with one adult male from each household in the five villages. Wherever possible the senior person or head of household was selected. Electoral r o l l s provided a check-list of residents by family but these did not prove wholly accurate. A number of joint families had s p l i t into separate households by the time of the study. Other families among the lower castes were not listed although they have been resident in the villages for many years. Some families have since moved away from the villages but very few immigrant LO Maps L o c a t i o n of the F i v e V i l l a g e s S t u d i e d North To D e l h i €U v i l l a g e ======== major road = = == = g r a v e l road c a n a l r a i l w a y • B l o c k Headquarters Market centres X b u s / t r a i n s t a t i o n s s secondary s c h o o l AR A g r i c . Research S t a t i o n 5 m i l e s / 66 families were contacted. The total number of respondents from each village is shown below. Table I. Number Interviewed by Village Block One: Village One 12 4 Village Two 64 Village Three 110 Block Two: Village Four 110 Village Five 132 Total 540 The low mobility and localized employment of village residents made i n i t i a l contact easy, and large family sizes generally ensured that at least one adult male was available for an interview. Roughly a dozen households had not been contacted by the conclusion of the study. Only three respondents refused to be interviewed. Data Collection The primary method of data collection was through directed interviews with each respondent, these lasting between one and two hours. A translation.of the schedule from Hindi i s given in the appendix. The kind of questions which were included and the various topics covered are described in detail below. The interviews opened with a series of questions designed to gain basic factual information on a respondent's caste, the extent of his landholdings, and primary means of livelihood. They provide important background data on a respondent's social status within the community. 67 The following section of the schedule was concerned with d i f f e r e n t i a l access to media for communication appropriate for the development programmes. Respondents were asked whether they knew of s p e c i f i c clubs which had been started l o c a l l y by the Block o f f i c i a l s , and whether they had personally attended any such clubs, or had ever received an i n v i t a t i o n to attend. The three important clubs were the youth club, the radio club, and a s p e c i a l club f o r women. Further questions inquired i n t o ownership of radios i n the respondents' households, or f a i l i n g t h i s , whether they had regular access to other radios i n the v i l l a g e . They were asked to estimate how frequently on the average they l i s t e n e d to p a r t i c u l a r programmes concerned with development topics, and whether they could name any topics recently covered i n these programmes. Further questions r e l a t e d to access to l i t e r a t u r e c i r c u l a t e d through the Block, whether a respondent was l i t e r a t e or had a close f r i e n d who would read to him, and whether he had seen or received any l i t e r a t u r e from the Block. Respondents were also asked whether they had attended f i l m shows on topics of a g r i c u l t -u r a l development, s a n i t a t i o n , and family planning, which had been shown i n each of the v i l l a g e s by Block personnel during the previous two or three years. This section concluded with several questions concerning whom a respondent might turn to for advice on a g r i c u l t u r a l matters or on the development programmes generally. Questions which occurred l a t e r i n the interview inquired i n t o the extent of personal contact with Block o f f i c i a l s . Respondents were asked whether they knew of p a r t i c u l a r o f f i c i a l s , and how frequently they had talked with them during the previous two years. 68 These directed questions served to provide basic data on access to media for communication which are comparable across a l l respondents. Respondents were encouraged throughout the interview to add any further comments concerning how the clubs operated and their own experiences in relation to the issues raised by the questions A l l such comments were recorded and they provide important background data on the mechanisms for communication flow within the communities. The next section of the interview was designed to measure basic knowledge of a l l new proposals included in the development programmes and the extent to which they have been adopted. Farmers were asked to name any varieties of seeds, f e r t i l i z e r s and pesticides which they had heard of, and which varieties they generally used or had tried in the past. Further questions inquired into their knowledge of new agricultural techniques and equipment which were promoted by Block o f f i c i a l s . A l l Respondents were asked a series of directed questions designed to measure the extent of their knowledge of topics covered in the nutrition training classes, and the scheme for promoting and subsidizing poultry farming. They were asked whether they had heard of various techniques for birth control. In this case some prompting was necessary as many respondents were too embarrassed to mention the devices at f i r s t . Questions on sanitation concerned their knowledge of ..chemical purifiers which could be added to drinking water and the supposed advantages of new f a c i l i t i e s such as hygienic wells and hand pumps. They were also asked whether they had seen or heard of water-sealed latrines, and how they worked. In each case the questions 69 served to provide a minimum of basic data on knowledge and adoption of new proposals which would be comparable f or a l l respondents. Responses were not confined to these tabular data. Any further comments which were prompted by the questions were encouraged and followed up. These comments provided invaluable background information on respondents 1 perception of new proposals, t h e i r understanding of the character and intentions of the development programmes, and t h e i r relevance f o r themselves. Many such comments were taken up again i n l a t e r sections of the interview. This section was followed by a s e r i e s of questions concerning evaluation of new proposals. These questions were intended to provide the basis f o r an attitud e scale of p o s i t i v e , neutral, or negative appraisal of new proposals. The questions proved less than s a t i s f a c t o r y f o r t h i s purpose. The problems encountered i n the measurement of such attitudes w i l l be examined below. The ten questions on appraisal of new proposals, numbered 36 to 46 i n the attached schedule, were varied to be appropriate f o r d i f f e r e n t types of proposals. In essence, respondents were asked to state what they thought each proposal r a i s e d . Further prompts were designed to e l i c i t whether the respondent f e l t they offered any major advantage over t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s , and whether he believed there were any s p e c i a l problems or disadvantages associated with t h e i r use. The focus of the interview subsequently changed from concern with understanding of new proposals, to concern with perception of Block a c t i v i t i e s within the v i l l a g e . Leading i n t o t h i s section were a series of general questions concerning changes i n the v i l l a g e and i n 70 relations between castes. Respondents were asked how they f e l t about them, and the extent to which they attributed any such changes to the impact of government development programmes. These questions were specially designed to encourage respondents to adopt a broader per-spective on village affairs and social change, as a prelude to sub-sequent topics on conflicting interest groups, and how these were articulated in relations with Block o f f i c i a l s . Whenever Block o f f i c i a l s were directly implicated in negative changes within the village, these responses contributed to the index of antipathy which is ut i l i z e d in the analysis of persuasion. The questions served also to e l i c i t valuable background information on intercaste relations which could be followed up in the later sections of the interview. The section on perception of o f f i c i a l s was introduced through directed questions designed to measure the extent of contact with them. Respondents were asked whether they had met various Block o f f i c i a l s , how often such o f f i c i a l s visited their section of the village, and how frequently they had spoken with them during the previous two years or so. The following questions 55 to 71 in the attached schedule were a l l designed to probe the quality of a respondent's experience with o f f i c i a l s who worked within the village. Respondents were asked how well informed the o f f i c i a l s appeared to be on agriculture and other matters relating to development programmes, whether they had turned to these o f f i c i a l s for advice, and i f so, how valuable was the advice they received. Each respondent was asked to rank the perceived level of education and financial standing of the o f f i c i a l s relative to themselves and other villagers. These questions provided the core of the index of perceived 71 competence of Block o f f i c i a l s which i s used i n the analysis of persuasion. Subsequent questions probed the character of r e l a t i o n s estab-l i s h e d between o f f i c i a l s and d i f f e r e n t sectors of the communities. Respondents were asked how much i n t e r e s t or concern o f f i c i a l s had shown i n problems of immediate concern to themselves or t h e i r f r i e n d s , and how i n f l u e n c i a l they appeared to be i n v i l l a g e a f f a i r s and p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the a c t i v i t i e s of the v i l l a g e leaders. This led into pointed questions concerning which sectors of the community appeared to be n e f i t most, and which l e a s t , from the a c t i v i t i e s of the o f f i c i a l s and any evidence of favouritism i n whom they associated with and whom they helped most. Last l y , respondents were asked to discuss any major a c t i v i t i e s promoted through the Block which had met with mixed support or opposition from d i f f e r e n t sectors of the community. They were e s p e c i a l l y prompted to i n d i c a t e the extent of cooperation between the panchayat and the Block and any c o n f l i c t s which might have arisen i n t h i s regard. Any highly c r i t i c a l appraisal of Block a c t i v i t i e s further contributed to the index of antipathy noted above. These l a s t questions were pointedly dire c t e d towards problems and c o n f l i c t s within the v i l l a g e s . They were designed to encourage respondents to describe i n some d e t a i l t h e i r perception of o f f i c i a l s and experiences with them, and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t groups within the v i l l a g e . These comments were followed up i n the next section of the interview which was con-cerned with the a c t i v i t i e s of v i l l a g e panchayats. I n i t i a l questions on the panchayats were designed to provide a comparative measure of the frequency with which i n d i v i d u a l respondents were- t o l d when council meetings were to be held, and how often they 72 attended. Further questions probed the kinds of activities which had been undertaken by the panchayat, how village funds were collected and spent, and which activities had received mixed support or opposition from different sectors of the communities. An additional question was inserted here concerning the distribution of panchayat lands. The importance of this scheme was not recognized u n t i l after interviewing had begun in the f i r s t village. It was f i r s t mentioned by members of the r i v a l faction in criticism of how the incumbent Proudhan had ex-ploited the scheme for his own advantage. The question was subsequently incorporated into the schedule. Respondents were asked whether they knew i f any such land had been distributed, who received it,and how i t was disposed of. Respondents were also asked their opinion as to which sectors of the community were specially favoured in the projects under-taken through the panchayat and which sections were relatively neglected. These questions were a l l designed to probe conflicts of interests within the villages. It was in response to such questions that the most infor-mation was gained concerning factions within the villages and the identity of prominent opponents to the incumbent Proudhans. The comments of different respondents indicated the extent to which these men were perceived as leaders or spokesmen for interest groups and also which sectors of respondents f e l t their interests were not represented by any major faction. The multiple accounts of the same events which were given by respondents from a l l strata provided the major indicator of faction alliances and their effects on the activities of the panchayat and the promotion of development programmes. • Discussion of panchayat activities was followed by a series of 73 q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g p r o j e c t s w h i c h had been u n d e r t a k e n by v o l u n t e e r o r u n p a i d l a b o u r g r o u p s w i t h i n the v i l l a g e s . Q u e s t i o n s were d e s i g n e d t o p r o b e f e e l i n g s c o n c e r n i n g w h i c h a r e a s o f t h e v i l l a g e were t h e main b e n e f i c i a r i e s o f s u c h p r o j e c t s and w h i c h a r e a s were i g n o r e d . A g a i n , d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s on t h e same e v e n t s were g i v e n by r e s p o n d e n t s f rom d i f f e r e n t s e c t o r s o f t h e c o m m u n i t i e s . These a c c o u n t s p r o v i d e d f u r t h e r m a t e r i a l on c o n f l i c t s o f i n t e r e s t s and how t h e s e were r e f l e c t e d i n t h e a c t i o n s o f p a n c h a y a t s . The q u e s t i o n s p r o v i d e d s c o p e f o r r e s p o n -d e n t s who f e l t t h e y were d i s f a v o u r e d t o g i v e v e n t t o t h e i r f e e l i n g s towards v i l l a g e l e a d e r s . The l a s t s t a g e s o f t h e i n t e r v i e w were c o n c e r n e d w i t h a c c e s s t o r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e w i t h i n the v i l l a g e and t h o s e p r o v i d e d t h r o u g h d e v e l o p m e n t B l o c k s . I n i t i a l q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n e d membership i n t h e c o o p e r a t i v e s o c i e t y , a t t e m p t s t o g e t l o a n s , and d i f f i c u l t i e s e n c o u n t e r e d . By t h i s s t a g e t h e i n t e r v i e w q u e s t i o n s were o p e n l y p r o b i n g f o r p e r c e i v e d f a v o u r i t i s m and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n i n t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f f u n d s . Any p r o b l e m s e n c o u n t e r e d were f o l l o w e d up and r e s p o n d e n t s were e n c o u r a g e d t o e l a b o r a t e on t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s . T h i s a l s o p r o v i d e d d a t a on c o n -t r a s t i n g p e r c e p t i o n s o f t h e o p e r a t i o n o f t h e s o c i e t y among d i f f e r e n t r e s p o n d e n t s . Response t o t h e s e q u e s t i o n s gave f u r t h e r i n s i g h t i n t o f a c t i o n s , p a r t i c u l a r l y as r e f l e c t e d i n c o m p e t i t i o n f o r c o n t r o l o v e r p a t r o n a g e . A d d i t i o n a l q u e s t i o n s were u s e d as p r o b e s w h e r e v e r needed t o g a i n f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e s e r e l a t i o n s . S u b s e q u e n t q u e s t i o n s c o n c e r n e d a p p l i c a t i o n f o r s u p p l i e s and c r e d i t f r o m the B l o c k s e e d s t o r e . They p r o b e d f o r any p r o b l e m s e n c o u n t e r e d i n d e a l i n g s w i t h o f f i c i a l s , and p e r c e i v e d f a v o u r i t i s m towards c e r t a i n 74 sectors of the community. These comments served to elaborate earlier material on relations between Block o f f i c i a l s and villagers generally. The focus of the interview subsequently shifted to private sources of funds, f i r s t from moneylenders and then from friends. These questions followed directly from a discussion of what new f a c i l i t i e s and equipment a respondent needed or wanted, but could not afford to buy. Turning to friends was thus introduced as a possible alternative means of attaining these objectives. Questions focused on support between friends and the extent to which they provided a source of investment funds or compensated for lack of access to other f a c i l i t i e s . Respondents were also asked whether they had considered joint purchase of expensive equipment with friends and neighbours. These latter questions probed feelings with respect to group cooperation, and the social as well as financial barriers which may restr i c t such cooperation. The last two questions were thrown open to the respondent to elaborate on any pressures or barriers to his own freedom of action which he f e l t from other members of the village. Respondents were asked to recount any projects or activities which they did NOT want, but f e l t pressured into; or conversely, any proposals which they wanted, but which others had tried to prevent. They were encouraged to elaborate on any problems encountered with respect to panchayat ac t i v i t i e s , distribution of lands, application for funds, and any dealings with o f f i c i a l s . These questions provided an opportunity to gain further information on faction disputes and on relations with Block o f f i c i a l s , and also on any earlier parts of the interview where response had been restricted. It also permitted respondents to raise any further topics 7 5 of s p e c i a l concern to them, whether d i r e c t l y or marginally r e l a t e d to the development programmes. Occasionally respondents who had been r e t i c e n t throughout the interview relaxed at t h i s stage and gave vent to t h e i r opinions, since they f e l t the formal interview was f i n i s h e d . This was usually the time when the pipe was handed round and comments given free reign. Many such discussions lasted long a f t e r the 'formal' interview had been completed and i t provided much of the depth and colour to the more r e a d i l y coded tabular material which was c o l l e c t e d e a r l i e r i n the interview. Later i n the afternoon when the l a s t interview was concluded, groups of men would often gather round to share a pipe, and t a l k broadly about v i l l a g e l i f e and incidents they remembered. These discussions were e s p e c i a l l y valuable i n drawing together i s o l a t e d accounts and incidents into a more composite p i c t u r e of r e l a t i o n s within the v i l l a g e s . They served to emphasise the d i v e r s i t y of l i v e s and opinions even within the small context of the v i l l a g e communities. They were also among the most enjoyable and memorable aspects of the research work. In every v i l l a g e there were c e r t a i n f a m i l i e s who welcomed us with e s p e c i a l warmth. Often we would use the front of t h e i r house to s i t i n the evenings, arid other v i l l a g e r s would congregate here to t a l k with us. Interview data was supplemented by observation of v i l l a g e conditions. There were makred v a r i a t i o n s between r e s i d e n t i a l areas i n the state of housing and p r o v i s i o n of a l l p u b l i c amenities including wells, drainage, and community bui l d i n g s . Such v a r i a t i o n s provide a c l e a r testimony to economic d i f f e r e n t i a l s between the wealthy e l i t e s and the poorest low caste residents. They t e s t i f i e d also to biased 76 p r i o r i t i e s in the investment of funds to improve village conditions, and offered visual support to the complaints of favouritism in pan-chayat activities which were raised by lower caste respondents. Observation also bore out the accounts of limited intermixing of residents from different caste sectors of the communities. Respondents who lived in one area of the village would rarely be seen in other areas where members of a different caste lived. The groups which collected for a smoke in the evenings usually included only close neighbours of similar caste rank. On the few occasions when village leaders or higher caste persons paused beside a lower caste group to inquire after the research, conversation immediately became s t i l t e d . Frequently the persons of lower caste would shift their position from bed or chair to squat on the floor u n t i l the higher caste person had le f t . Participation in some of the Block activities within the village, and also club meetings, provided further opportunities to verify the descriptions given during the interviews. I visited different villages many times in the company of Block workers, especially at the beginning of the research before the formal interviewing had started. With few exceptions, I would be taken f i r s t to the house of the headman, and then to neighbouring families of similar high caste who lived in the wealthiest sector of the village. I never visited low caste residential areas while in the company of these o f f i c i a l s , although I often asked to see them. There were no households in these areas where Block o f f i c i a l s were regular or even occasional visitors. V i s i t s to village club meetings revealed a similar homogeneity of membership. The women who attended the nutrition classes were the same women I had met while 77 v i s i t i n g the Proudhan's family and neighbouring households. Occasion-ally a few poorly clad women were to be seen squatting on the floor at the back of the meeting but rarely did they take any active part in the proceedings. They would hang back while higher caste women crowded around the demonstrations. It appeared that they saw and heard very l i t t l e . Many similar observations served to ill u s t r a t e the reality behind the comments and complaints raised by respondents during the course of the interviews. Limitations of Data A l l research faces the problem of distortion or bias which may result from the method JJilwhich data is collected. This may be through the researcher's own observations or the comments of respondents. Most of the data on which this thesis rests based on respondents' comments. There is no independent check on factual data which they gave concerning such issues as amount of land they possessed, access to different clubs and f a c i l i t i e s within the villages, and adoption of new proposals. This raises the question of the degree of r e l i a b i l i t y which can be placed in such accounts, and possible distortions and biases which may be inherent in them. A part i a l check on some aspects of response was the closely interrelated nature of the questions themselves. This served to show up discrepancies in individual accounts. Access to media for communi-cation had direct implications for a b i l i t y to answer subsequent questions on the topics raised in clubs or radio programmes and the appraisal of hew projects. It is also linked with questions on amount of contact 78 with o f f i c i a l s , which occur l a t e r i n the interview. A further valuable check on response bias was consistency i n d e s c r i p t i o n of a c t i v i t i e s such as club attendance which were given by many d i f f e r e n t respondents. Claims by some i n d i v i d u a l s to have par-t i c i p a t e d could be r e a d i l y checked against the comments of others who claimed to attend and who also described the membership composition. Given the extent of cross-checking of accounts which was p o s s i b l e , i t seems u n l i k e l y that the r e s u l t i n g composite p i c t u r e of these a c t i v i t i e s represents any serious d i s t o r t i o n . Respondents were encouraged to add further comments which might be prompted by the d i r e c t questions throughout the interview. These a d d i t i o n a l comments were often i n -strumental i n checking the r e l i a b i l i t y of p a r t i c u l a r responses. A more important issue from the perspective of t e s t i n g the theory i s the p o s s i b i l i t y that respondents may have exaggerated the range of projects which they adopted i n order to impress me with t h e i r modernism. A number of respondents were reluctant to c r i t i c i s e the programmes p a r t i c u l a r l y during the early stages of the interview when they were unsure how my own sympathies might l i e . However, such bias i s l i k e l y to have occurred only i n the same d i r e c t i o n of exaggerating ' claims f o r adoption. There i s l i t t l e reason to expect that respondents would wish to understate t h e i r adoption of proposals. Consistent overstatement of adoption w i l l have the e f f e c t of reducing the apparent d i f f e r e n t i a l between respondents who a c t u a l l y did adopt these proposals, and those who did not but were rel u c t a n t to say so. Any such bias w i l l operate to weaken support f o r the hypotheses i n t h i s theory. There i s thus good reason to expect that actual differences i n adoption rates 7 9 were greater than that indicated by respondents' comments, rather than the reverse. The tests of support for the hypotheses are u n l i k e l y to err i n the d i r e c t i o n of unwarranted support for hypotheses. Questions within the interview were designed to reduce the tendency for respond-ents to f e e l obliged to support the programmes. One such technique was to ask respondents whether they knew of problems encountered by others. This expression i n the t h i r d person gave an opportunity for respondents to express ambivalence which they might f e e l r e l u c t a n t to a t t r i b u t e to themselves. A further consideration i n evaluating the accuracy of accounts i s that any tendency to overstate adoption may be expected to hold across a l l new proposals. The very wide discrepancies i n claimed frequency of adoption of d i f f e r e n t projects by the same respondents suggests that t h i s bias was not pronounced. Another aspect of the interview where respondents may have been l i k e l y to d i s t o r t information they gave concerns those events which present t h e i r own actions i n a negative l i g h t . V i l l a g e leaders and members of the dominant f a c t i o n i n the panchayat were c l e a r l y p r e d i s -posed to present panchayat a c t i v i t i e s i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t . Their opponents within the v i l l a g e were more l i k e l y to be c r i t i c a l and to recount incidents and a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t i n g to the Proudhans which the l a t t e r were reluctant to divulge. S i m i l a r l y , those persons who held p o s i t i o n s of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y within the cooperative s o c i e t i e s were widely c r i t i c i s e d f o r favouritism i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of funds which they themselves d i d not acknowledge. The many d i f f e r e n t accounts of the same incidents which were given by respondents from a l l sectors of the communities provided an invaluable basis f o r checking these 80 inconsistencies. Claims to have distributed funds and materials could be checked against the accounts given by individual respondents con-cerning funds received. Similarly, criticisms of the ac t i v i t i e s of village leaders which were raised by their opponents could be checked against the accounts given by their supporters and by neutral members of the communities. They could also be checked against the experiences recounted by many villagers who stood to be influenced by such ac t i v i t i e s . In other instances, claims made by Proudhans could be checked by observation of amenities actually provided and their location within the village. In these ways the exaggerated claims of some respondents could be balanced against the experiences recounted by others. More r e l i a b i l i t y can be placed i n the combined picture than in individual accounts alone. An additional factor which proved especially advantageous for interviewing respondents from a l l strata of the communities was the mixed characteristics of the researchers. As a f a i r skinned Westerner, who was clearly both highly educated and wealthy relative to villagers, I was able to command considerable prestige among the villagers. Members of the upper stratum were usually more than willing to invite me into their homes and talk with me. It also proved advan-tageous to be female. I was more readily invited into the inner parts of homes where the women generally stay than a male researcher might have been. It was also relatively easy for me to reassure villagers that I was not there to question them in any o f f i c i a l capacity and was not associated with either the Block o f f i c i a l s or other p o l i t i c a l interests. I also proved a very interesting anomaly to most villagers 81 and this further encouraged them to talk with me and made i t easy to in i t i a t e the interviews with them. The relatively high prestige which I could command might have worked against easy relations with lower caste villagers. It was with these respondents that my assistant proved invaluable. He was himself a villager of low caste rank, who usually worked as a farmer on the small landholdings belonging to his family. He was unusual in having achieved a general degree at the regional university, and was relatively fluent in English. As an educated person he could hold his own in conversations with o f f i c i a l s and village e l i t e s . Higher caste respondents usually accepted him readily as my assistant and did not question his caste. Among low caste villagers he mixed easily and was willing to share food and smoke pipes with them. He would use the local village-Hindi dialect which readily put them at ease. Lower caste respondents talked openly with him as an equal, while they might have been more reticent with a person of higher caste. The importance of these easy relations became evident very early on in the research. My f i r s t assistant was a relatively high caste university graduate from an urban background. Many of the i n i t i a l interviews in the f i r s t village were conducted by him. He had considerable prior experience with some kinds of survey research, having been hired as an interviewer to complete pre-coded questionnaires with urban respondents. These s k i l l s , however, proved inappropriate in a village context. He found i t very d i f f i c u l t to relate to the average uneducated villager, as they did with him. He completed the formal schedule with high speed but this discouraged any further comment 82 or elaboration by respondents. Much of the data on v i l l a g e c o n f l i c t s and f a c t i o n r e l a t i o n s which depended on such elaboration, were l o s t . These early interviews were ber e f t of comments and proved very d i f f i c u l t to analyse. Internal discrepancies i n response could not be checked. My data on t h i s f i r s t v i l l a g e i s the l e a s t s a t i s f a c t o r y of the f i v e . The q u a l i t y and depth of data gained i n the interviews improved markedly when I took over a l l the interviewing myself with the help of the v i l l a g e a s s i s t a n t . He had no p r i o r experience of research work and few preconceptions as to how i t should be done. He was personally interes t e d i n the issues r a i s e d by the research and was more than w i l l i n g to s i t and t a l k with any respondents who cared to recount t h e i r experiences. His i n s i g h t s i n t o v i l l a g e l i f e rendered him an invaluable resource person and an excellent a s s i s t a n t . Data Presentation The data^s^organized i n r e l a t i o n to the three major aspects of choice behaviour which are considered i n the theory stated above. These aspects concern d i f f e r e n t i a l access to information, the determinants of persuasion to adopt new proposals when known, and l a s t l y d i f f e r e n t i a l access to a v a i l a b l e input f a c i l i t i e s . Response to the d i r e c t e d questions provide comparable basic data from a l l respondents on c r i t i c a l issues of information flow, acceptance of new projects, and access to f a c i l i t i e s . These data are presented i n tabular form and provide the main t e s t of the hypotheses set out i n the theory. Throughout the analysis data ; >>s /^^' organized i n terms of f i v e main categories of respondents. These are supporters of the Proudhans, r i v a l f a c t i o n s , and neutral respondents of higher caste, middle caste, and low caste. The precise d e f i n i t i o n 83 of these categories and their relation to other important variables w i l l be described below. Data are presented mainly in the form of percentaged d i s t r i -butions of response. This presents special problems only in the second stage of the analysis which is concerned with readiness to adopt new proposals when known. This entails that any respondents who were ignorant of particular issues be omitted from the percent calculation. The number of respondents who are informed varies with each project examined. The percentages are calculated as the proportion of informed respondents who have adopted each proposal. The variable frequencies on which such percentages are calculated are presented in separate tables lis t e d in the appendix. Hypotheses concerning rates of adoption are tested with respect to a l l major innovations sponsored through the Block programmes. Different aspects of the programmes include agriculture, nutrition, sanitation, family planning, and ut i l i z a t i o n of credit and investment f a c i l i t i e s . Specific projects incorporate a time dimension into the study. They include the newer projects such as improved seeds, basic dressing f e r t i l i z e r s and newer specialised pesticides, and also the more widely known projects which have been available in the region for some years. An important indication of the explanatory u t i l i t y of related hypotheses is the consistency in predicted differences in adoption rates across a l l these new proposals. The extent of variation in preferences shown for different projects is assessed through relative frequency of adoption when compared with the mean for each category of respondent. 84 Summary tables are provided in the text, which indicate the mean rate of adoption, averaged over each project included in different aspects of the programmes. These summary means are calculated directly from the full-length tables and give equal weighting to each proposal lis t e d . A case might be made for giving greater weighting to more widely known projects over recent innovations, or to projects which appear more crucial than others. However, there is no clear rationale either for making such distinctions or for determining the relative higher or lower weighting which might be given. Equal weighting is adopted here as more straightforward, and having a directly interpretable meaning in relation to the set of projects from which i t is derived. It i s justified also on the logical grounds that each project does represent a separate alternative for choice. These summary tables provide a simplified index of adoption rates, having the major advantage of simplicity and brevity in presen-tation of data. They can be more readily assimilated by the reader than the full-length tables where some twenty-six separate projects are listed. This advantage i s gained at the expense of considerable reduction in the data base against which specific hypotheses can be assessed. The means necessarily gloss over internal variation and occasional reversals from the predicted pattern. In each case, the reader who feels the need for a more exacting test of the hypotheses than these summary tables provide, or who is interested in following up their implications for specific projects, is directed to the f u l l -length tables which are listed in the appendix. Additional data which were gained through comments and discussion 85 with respondents are incorporated throughout the analysis. These data provide illustrations of the tabular material. They serve also to indicate the significance and implications of the hypotheses with respect to the development programmes. Characteristics of Respondents The Background characteristics of respondents are briefly described below, in terms of important dimensions in the analysis. Basic data were gathered from a l l respondents c o n c e r n i n g caste, land-holdings, education, and primary occupations. The many sub-castes represented in the five villages are ranked into three categories of higher, middle, and low caste. Brahmins and Thakurs comprise the locally higher castes. Other respondents were ranked as middle caste, with the third category of low caste comprising those with special status as "Scheduled Castes". These three categories reflect the main distinctions used by respondents to refer to other members of the communities. They also coincide with residential divisions. Respondents from different sub-castes within these broad ranks were often close neighbours, but rarely did the caste composition of a neighbourhood include families from different categories. Low castes commonly live in geographically separate quarters of the villages, well removed from higher caste residential areas. A detailed breakdown of the sub-caste composition of each village is given in the appendix, Table XLII. Table II shows the proportion of respondents within the three major caste divisions. Low castes are the most numerous. They comprise roughly one-half of the total number of respondents. Most of them are either Pasi or Chamar. The two higher castes of Brahmins and 86 Table II. Caste Ranking by Village Caste Rank Percent Respondents by Village One Two Three Four Five Total No. Higher caste) Middle Caste Low Caste Brahmin Thakur 13 5 33 49 0 0 44 56 14 9 27 50 5 23 18 54 14 23 33 30 54 10 72 13 163 30 251 47 Total Respondents 124 64 110 110 132 540 100 Table III. Landholding of Respondents by Village Landholding Percent Respondents by Village One Two Three Four Five Total No. Below Subsistence (0-2 acres) 66 66 59 61 51 324 60 Middle-Sized (3-8 acres) 30 28 31 30 38 173 32 Large (9 acres & over) 6 10 11 43 8 Total Respondents 124 64 110 110 132 540 100 87 Thakurs together comprise less than one-quarter of a l l households. In two of the v i l l a g e s i n the f i r s t Block Brahmins are more numerous than Thakurs. This r a t i o i s reversed for the two v i l l a g e s i n the second Block. The second v i l l a g e i s d i s t i n c t i v e i n having no higher caste households. Here the prominent caste group i s the middle-ranking caste of Yadovs. The s o c i a l p o s i t i o n of members of a c e r t a i n caste i s influenced not only by r i t u a l status but by t h e i r corresponding economic p o s i t i o n as landowners. Landholdings are ranked i n terms of three main d i v i s i o n s , below subsistence holdings, medium holdings, and larger commercial farms. Respondents are categorized on the basis of the amount of land which they claimed to own. The d i s t r i b u t i o n of landholdings among respondents i s shown i n Table I I I . Holdings of less than two and one-half acres are i n s u f f i c i e n t to meet the subsistence needs of an average family. Sixty percent of a l l respondents have below subsistence holdings, and one-third of these are landless. These very poor families provide the bulk of a l l a g r i c u l t u r a l labourers i n the v i l l a g e s . Over eighty percent of respondents i n t h i s category supplemented t h e i r incomes with other work, the majority working as a g r i c u l t u r a l labourers. Medium-sized holdings of between three to eight acres are adequate to meet subsistence needs. Large farms i n t h i s category may produce a marketable surplus but are too small to be important as commercial farms or as sources of regular employment.for v i l l a g e labourers. The majority of these farmers do h i r e some labourers during peak work periods but not on a regular basis. S i x t y - s i x percent r e l i e d e n t i r e l y on farming for a l i v e l i h o o d , t h i s proportion increasing with s i z e of holdings. Few of them ever work 88 as labourers for others. The last category of larger commercial farms includes a l l holdings of nine acres and above. These respondents produce crops primarily for the market. A total of eight percent of a l l respondents rank as large farmers. Together they control over one-third of a l l village lands. Three-quarters rely entirely on farming for a livelihood, the remainder being either large businessmen or professionals. They are the major employers for agricultural labourers within the villages, almost a l l employing labourers on a regular basis. Land distribution does not vary markedly between the five villages. Fewer families are totally landless in the f i f t h village, but even here half the respondents have below subsistence holdings. Two Yadov respondents in the second village are in a class of their own, each having close to forty acres of land. They are almost alone in providing a source of employment for agricultural labourers in this village. Only two other families marginally qualify as large landowners. Owner-cultivation is the major source of livelihood for village families. Other agriculture-related occupations and some small businesses and trades provide additional income for roughly half the respondents. Employment as agricultural labourers is the most frequent source of income among the poorest families. The majority compete for hire on a daily basis. The average wage for labourers in the region is Rs 2.00 per day (25$). This rate varies from village to village with the supply and demand for local labour. Only twelve respondents, or six percent of a l l labourers work on a permanent year-round basis for the same landowner. Some caste trades are s t i l l carried on in the villages but very few respondents rely exclusively upon them for a livelihood. Their 89 Table IV. Occupation by Landholding Percent Respondents by Landholding Landholding Occupation Labourers Business Both Labor C u l t i v a t o r Total No. A l l Kinds Trade and Trade Only No. % "6 % % % Below Subsist. 56 22 3 19 324 100 Middle-sized 14 19 1 66 173 100 Large 0 21 0 79 43 100 Total Respondents 207 113 11 209 540 Table V. Caste by Landholding Percent Respondents by Caste Landholding Higher Caste* Middle Caste Low Caste Brahmin Thakur o. "o o, "o g. "6 % Below Subsist. 41 11 60 78 Middle-sized 52 45 37 21 Large 7 44 3 1 Total Respondents 54 72 163 251 100% 100% 100% 100% 90 c l i e n t e l e has declined severely i n recent years with increased compe-t i t i o n from manufactured goods available i n the markets. A few wealthy respondents operated larger stores and businesses i n the market centres. A further dimension of clas s p o s i t i o n i s education. The p r e v a i l i n g l e v e l of education among respondents i s low. Eighty-two percent of a l l respondents have not received any schooling beyond primary l e v e l , and s i x t y percent have never attended school. Differences between v i l l a g e s are small. The advantage enjoyed by some v i l l a g e s of proximity to secondary schools has not influenced the l e v e l of education of the adult population. I t may do so f o r the generation now going through the schools. The average for years of education i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to landholding. Only seven percent of those with below subsistence holdings have gone beyond primary school. This compares with one-quarter of middle-sized farmers and one-half of the large landowners. There i s a high c o r r e l a t i o n between the two major variables of caste ranking and landholding. Poverty i s most pronounced among the lower castes. Seventy-eight percent of a l l low caste respondents had below subsistence holdings, and less than one percent rank as large landowners with nine acres or more. Among middle castes the proportion of respondents with below subsistence holdings f a i l s to s i x t y percent but only three percent have large holdings. V a r i a t i o n i n landholdings i s greater among the two higher castes of Brahmins and Thakurs. The average economic p o s i t i o n of Brahmin respondents i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than for Thakur respondents. Forty-one percent of Brahmins have below subsistence holdings and only a minority of seven 9 1 percent are large landowners. Thakur respondents comprise the majority of a l l large landowners included in the study. Although r i t u a l l y of lower rank than Brahmins, they clearly outrank them in economic strength. Almost half the Thakurs have large holdings, with only eleven percent having below subsistence holdings. Status differentials in terms of caste and landholding appear to be c r i t i c a l variables underlying patterns of leadership and opposition within the village communities. Factions A central concern in this study is with power relations and patterns of a f f i l i a t i o n within the village communities. This i s par-ticularly related to l o c i of control over those mechanisms which in-fluence decision processes in connection with the development programmes. The immediate focus of questions in the interviews was on the role and activities of Proudhans. Proudhans are the elected heads of panchayats or village councils. Much of the formal activities of the development programmes are organized through the medium of these panchayats. The incumbent Proudhans are thus in a position to exercise considerable control over the introduction of these programmes. In the region studied the previous panchayat elections were cancelled by the State government under threat of p o l i t i c a l unrest. The incumbent Proudhans had thus held office within the panchayats for ten years preceding the study. New elections were held shortly after the study was completed. The position of the elected Proudhans within each village was directly linked with the economic position of prominent castes. In a l l five villages the incumbent Proudhan was a member of the caste group 92 within which the majority of large landowners were concentrated. In four communities this was one of the two higher castes of Brahmins or Thakurs. In the second village prominent landowners are a l l from the middle-ranking caste of Yadovs and here the incumbent Proudhan is a Yadov. There are no higher caste households within this village. In the other two villages in the f i r s t Block the' larger landowners are Brahmins, as are the incumbent Proudhans. In the second Block Thakurs are prominent landowners and the two Proudhans are Thakurs. Detailed questions concerning the activity of the panchayats and village conflicts provided the basis for identifying any prominent r i v a l factions within the communities. A l l respondents were encouraged to describe any such conflicts in detail and to indicate which sectors of the community were directly involved. The picture of village p o l i t i c s which emerged from these accounts coincides very closely with that described by Epstein (1973, 180). Epstein notes that "Factions were referred to by villagers in each case under the name of their individual leaders". She continues that naming factions after their leaders seems a widespread phenomenon. There is a danger in applying other labels to the factions of giving insufficient emphasis to the importance of informal leaders as the single unifying focus of the factions (ibid 180). The same pattern emerged in my own study. Respondents identified r i v a l factions within the community invariably through naming a particular individual or individuals as prominent opponents to the incumbent Proudhan. The identity of these opponents was confirmed through the many different accounts of the panchayat and village conflicts given by respondents from a l l sectors of the communities. 93 A second observation made by Epstein i s that f a c t i o n a l oppo-s i t i o n i s clo s e l y t i e d up with the economic fortunes of i n d i v i d u a l magnates. She suggests that one can co r r e l a t e the increase and decline i n f a c t i o n a l opposition with the economic and s o c i a l progress of the three progressive magnates i n the two v i l l a g e s which she studied ( i b i d 182) . Similar trends could be found i n my own study. The p o s i t i o n of prominent opponents within the communities appeared to be re l a t e d to two main fac t o r s : the r e l a t i v e dominance of a p a r t i c u l a r caste as large landowners, and the extent of economic d i s p a r i t i e s within t h i s caste. P a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e s d i f f e r with respect to the size and r e l a t i v e strength of factions aligned against the Proudhans, but the p r i n c i p l e underlying them i s s i m i l a r . In four of the f i v e v i l l a g e s the major landowners were c l e a r l y concentrated i n one p a r t i c u l a r caste. In each of these v i l l a g e s the incumbent Proudhan was a member of t h i s caste. Also each of the i n d i v i d u a l s named as prominent opponents to the Proudhans were members of the same caste. In the t h i r d v i l l a g e the prominence enjoyed by Brahmin landowners was less c l e a r - c u t . Several of the Thakur respondents are also large landowners and Thakurs are represented i n the v i l l a g e i n s i g n i f i c a n t numbers. In t h i s v i l l a g e the Proudhan was a Brahmin but the i n d i v i d u a l c i t e d as a prominent opponent was a Thakur. Isolated respondents from lower castes do rank as large landowners but they were never c i t e d by other respondents as prominent opponents of the incumbent Proudhans. I t i s l i k e l y that while they might command prestige as i n d i v i d u a l landowners, they lack the backing of other large landowners within t h e i r own caste, with which to challenge the economic prominence of higher caste f a c t i o n s . The r e l a t i v e strength of prominent opponents to the Proudhans 94 Table VI. Faction by Caste for Five Villages Number of Respondents by Village Caste One Two Three Four Five Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. High Brahmin 6 6 0 0 10 0 2 0 2 5 Thakur 0 0 0 0 0 9 6 13 6 16 Middle 1 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 Low 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 3 0 Table VII. Faction by Landholding for Five Villages Number of Respondents by Village One Two Three Four Five Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Pr. Riv. Small (0-2 acres) 2 3 2 0 2 0 2 2 2 6 Medium (3-8 acres) 4 5 6 0 6 3 2 9 6 11 Large (9+ acres) 1 1 4 0 2 6 6 2 6 8 Landholding in Acres 95 do dif f e r from village to village. In the third village mentioned above, and also in the f i r s t village studied, the Proudhans do not command significantly greater landholdings than other higher caste respondents. In both cases prominent opponents are themselves large landowners and present a strong challenge to the leadership of the Proudhans. In the two villages within the second Block the Thakur Proudhans rank among the largest landowners within the caste. In both these villages two individuals were cited as prominent opponents but none appeared to present a major challenge to the Proudhans. In the remaining village the Yadov Proudhan and a close relative each command landholdings several times greater than that of any other household within the village. In this one village no individual was cited as a prominent opponent. Grumbling against the Proudhan was as common as in other villages but has not crystallized around any competing leader. A similar situation i s described by Epstein. Two magnates control very large landholdings in one village which she studied. Their prominence is clearly established and as yet no new contestants have emerged. She notes that previous rivals have since partitioned their estates and are no longer counted among the richest Peasants (1973, 181). She suggests that factionalism may recur as soon as present magnates die and their estates are divided among their heirs (ibid 184). A third feature noted by Epstein is the informal character of the factions or cliques of supporters which surround these prominent individuals. Epstein concurs with Nicholas in stressing that "members can be connected to a faction only through the activity of a leader 96 since they unit has no corporate existence or c l e a r s i n g l e p r i n c i p l e of recruitment" (Epstein 1973, 180;'Nicholas 1965, 28). A s i m i l a r pattern emerged from my own study. The Proudhans and prominent oppon-ents appeared to form the centre of a loose clique of close friends and supporters who backed them i n v i l l a g e c o n f l i c t s . These supporters were not incorporated as formal p a r t i e s i n v i l l a g e p o l i t i c s . They were drawn mainly from the l o c a l i z e d r e s i d e n t i a l area where the leader himself l i v e d . Not infrequently they appeared to be lin k e d through kinship t i e s with the leader. In the two v i l l a g e s where two prominent opponents were named, they drew supporters from separate l o c a l i t i e s within the v i l l a g e . The majority of such supporters are of the same caste as the leader and of r e l a t i v e l y s i m i l a r economic p o s i t i o n . Economic d i s p a r i t i e s within the prominent landowning caste tended to be r e f l e c t e d i n the composition of these cliques. One prominent figure would tend to draw supporters from r e l a t i v e l y smaller landowners within the caste than those who supported an opposing leader. However, such d i v i s i o n s are f ar from r i g i d . The core members of p a r t i c u l a r cliques could be r e a d i l y i d e n t i -f i e d through the interviews, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the discussions of v i l l a g e c o n f l i c t s . Supporters shared the same perspectives on such c o n f l i c t s and sided with the leader i n disputes with opposing cli q u e s . They were also w e l l known to other respondents throughout the communities who were not themselves aligned with p a r t i c u l a r c l i q u e s . Other respondents commonly referred to such cliques by i n d i c a t i n g the l o c a l i t y where most of the members l i v e d . The boundaries of these cliques are less r e a d i l y drawn. Again, 9.7 as Epstein observes, the strength of support for p a r t i c u l a r leaders i s r e l a t i v e l y f l u i d . I t may vary with the economic fortunes of these leaders and t h e i r a b i l i t y to reward supporters through patronage or through defence of common i n t e r e s t s (ib i d 181). Occasionally re-spondents from outside the l o c a l i t y and the caste of the main supporters of a clique indicated strong support for a p a r t i c u l a r leader i n v i l l a g e disputes. This occurred only on an i n d i v i d u a l basis and d i d not incorporate organized groups of such respondents. Commonly the ind i v i d u a l s themselves had some s p e c i a l grievance against opposing leaders and of f e r e d t h e i r support f o r t h i s reason. In one v i l l a g e the Proudhan had several close friends among low caste respondents. This friendship appeared to be based p r i m a r i l y on the fac t that they brewed palm wine. In general, however, these cliques appear to cross-cut caste boundaries to only a l i m i t e d extent. This may p a r t l y r e f l e c t the informal character of such cliques. They are not organized p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s into which members are r e c r u i t e d . The close coincidence between caste and landholding may also serve to l i m i t cross-cutting i n t e r e s t s . Very few low caste respondents rank as large landowners on a par with members of higher castes. Further consideration of the dynamics of these f a c t i o n a l l i a n c e s over time l i e s outside the scope of the present study. Factions are u t i l i z e d within the thesis p r i m a r i l y as in d i c a t o r s of close a s s o c i a t i o n with incumbent Proudhans and of opposition to them. They are considered from the perspective of how such r e l a t i o n s influence the determination of choice parameters i n r e l a t i o n to the development programmes. Respondents are categorized on the basis of f i v e main d i v i s i o n s . 98 These are the incumbent Proudhans and close associates; prominent r i v a l s and t h e i r associates, and neutral respondents of higher caste, middle-ranking caste, and low caste. Caste i s u t i l i z e d as the primary measure of status d i s p a r i t y r e l a t i v e to the incumbent Proudhans, with landholding as a secondary measure. In four of the f i v e v i l l a g e s the Proudhans are members of a high ranking caste, which i s also the caste which includes the majority of a l l large landowners. With few exceptions, respondents from middle and lower castes have only marginal or middle-sized landholdings. In e f f e c t , therefore, t h e i r categoriza-t i o n on the basis of caste also serves as an approximate control f o r status d i s p a r i t y i n terms of economic p o s i t i o n . The second v i l l a g e forms a p a r t i a l exception. Here the Proudhan i s a member of the middle-ranking caste of Yadovs. No higher caste f a m i l i e s are resident i n the v i l l a g e . In t h i s case the landholdings commanded by the Proudhan and immediate associates are several times larger than the holdings controlled by any other middle-caste respondents. The categorization of these neutral respondents as "middle-caste" thus does function as a measure of marked status d i s p a r i t y between them and the Proudhans. Some attempt i s made to estimate the independent e f f e c t of landholding on the determination of choice parameters. Detailed analysis of the r e l a t i v e e f f e c t s of caste ranking and economic ranking i s re-s t r i c t e d by the very high c o r r e l a t i o n between them. When both variables are c o n t r o l l e d the r e s u l t i n g c e l l s izes are often too small to permit s t a t i s t i c a l l y meaningful manipulation of data. Data from the f i v e v i l l a g e s are combined throughout t h i s a n a l y s i s . The primary objective of t h i s study i s to examine and tes t a p r e d i c t i v e 99 theory of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s as determinants of choice parameters. The theory presents an abstract set of propositions which are p o t e n t i a l l y applicable to any community, both i n India and elsewhere, with the appropriate o p e r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n of ce n t r a l concepts. A sing l e v i l l a g e does not constitute a unit f o r analysis but rather a set of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s which can be abstracted from t h i s community. In taking t h i s approach i t i s i n e v i t a b l e that some of the richness of the data and the immediacy of l i f e experiences f o r respondents i s l o s t . Theory always e n t a i l s a c e r t a i n abstraction from r e a l i t y . On the other hand, too close a focus on p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e s may obscure the analysis of these abstract r e l a t i o n s which underlie s p e c i f i c events. Data from separate v i l l a g e s are introduced f o r i l l u s t r a t i v e purposes, and also when c r i t i c a l v a r i a t i o n s occur i n the key variables which are examined. One such instance i s v a r i a t i o n i n the locus of control over cooperative s o c i e t i e s r e l a t i v e to the p o s i t i o n of the incumbent Proudhan. No major variations occur i n the manner i n which development programmes were sponsored i n the separate v i l l a g e s or i n the projects which were i n -cluded. Further examination of the dynamics of p o l i t i c s and s o c i a l change within i n d i v i d u a l v i l l a g e s l i e s beyond the scope of t h i s study. CHAPTER FOUR CHOICE ALTERNATIVES IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT The Community Development Programmes sponsor a series of re l a t e d innovations i n a g r i c u l t u r e , n u t r i t i o n , s a n i t a t i o n , family planning, welfare and public amenities. These projects provide the framework f or analysis of choice behaviour i n the v i l l a g e communities. Response to the projects i s measured p r i m a r i l y through rates of adoption, and where appropriate, the amount of investment. P a r t i c u l a r projects and t h e i r p r a c t i c a l i n t e r r e l a t i o n and s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the t o t a l development programme are described below. A g r i c u l t u r a l Extension i s accorded major emphasis i n the programmes. The package of pra c t i c e s include introduction of high y i e l d i n g seeds, chemical f e r t i l i z e r s , and p e s t i c i d e s , and new crop sowing techniques. A l l are designed to increase p r o d u c t i v i t y per acre. High Yielding V a r i e t i e s of wheat and r i c e have been developed and tested on experimental farms and t h e i r use i s promoted through the Block Programmes. Under optimal growing conditions they have double or treble the y i e l d p o t e n t i a l of indigenous seeds. The most recent im-proved v a r i e t i e s o f f e r higher q u a l i t y plants with respect to disease resistance, and reduced s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to collapse or premature grain shedding. In the tables these are referred to as high y i e l d and improved high y i e l d seeds r e s p e c t i v e l y . They indicate a time dimension i n propensity for adoption of innovations i n ag r i c u l t u r e . 100 101 The higher productive p o t e n t i a l of new v a r i e t i e s of seeds i s dependent upon increased inputs of f e r t i l i z e r , p e s t i c i d e s , and i r r i -gation, r e l a t i v e to older indigenous seeds. Optimal r e s u l t s also require improved techniques of s o i l preparation, the spacing of plants and weeding. S i g n i f i c a n t advantages from the adoption of these seeds i s thus contingent upon the further adoption of other p r a c t i c e s i n -cluded i n a g r i c u l t u r a l extension. Chemical F e r t i l i z e r s which are promoted through the programmes are of two broad types. The better known top dressings are r i c h i n n i t r a t e s and are recommended for a p p l i c a t i o n at i n t e r v a l s a f t e r germination. The newer basic dressings are r i c h i n phosphates and are recommended for a p p l i c a t i o n to the s o i l p r i o r to planting. The dosage recommended i s about f i f t y k i l o per acre of both basic and top dressing f e r t i l i z e r s for medium y i e l d seeds, and a hundred k i l o or more for high y i e l d i n g seeds which are more responsive to f e r t i l i z e r input. Pesticides include standard general-purpose types, and also newer sp e c i a l i z e d products. They are p a r t i c u l a r l y recommended for use with high y i e l d i n g seeds which are les s disease r e s i s t a n t than indigenous v a r i e t i e s , and also with the p r a c t i c e of multiple cropping which i n -creases the r i s k of cross i n f e c t i o n . At present, concern with re-ducing crop losses from disease and pests outweighs concern with possible long-term negative e f f e c t s from over-use of chemical p e s t i c i d e s . These three projects comprise the core of the package of prac t i c e s i n a g r i c u l t u r a l extension. Their combined usage i s necessary for s i g n i f i c a n t and sustained increase i n y i e l d s . New crop sowing techniques which are promoted i n conjunction with the above projects 102 include multiple cropping, l i n e sowing and deeper ploughing. M u l t i p l e Cropping. Local a g r i c u l t u r a l research stations have experi-mented successfully with three and four crop rotation of wheat, r i c e , maize and a vegetable crop, using f a s t ripening v a r i e t i e s of seeds. With intensive cropping i t i s possible f or a family of average size to be marginally s e l f s u f f i c i e n t on two acres of land. The scheme thus has sp e c i a l value for the poorest farmers. However, i t requires a heavy a p p l i c a t i o n of f e r t i l i z e r s , preventive crop spraying, and also good i r r i g a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s to support the summer crop. Line Sowing techniques for r i c e and wheat are promoted to replace the t r a d i t i o n a l method of broadcasting or s c a t t e r i n g seeds. The technique ensures adequate space and l i g h t f o r i n d i v i d u a l plants and may con-siderably improve y i e l d s with a l l types of seed. A r e l a t e d disadvant-age i s the extra labour and planting-time required. Mouldboard Plough. The t r a d i t i o n a l Indian plough comprises a st r a i g h t wooden shaft with a pointed t i p which may be strengthened with iron . It scratches a shallow groove i n the s o i l but does not turn i t . The new type of mouldboard plough has a curved s t e e l blade which penetrates to a greater depth and also turns the s o i l i n a furrow. I t has the advantage of aerating the s o i l more e f f e c t i v e l y and also turning i n weeds. These a g r i c u l t u r a l projects comprise the core of new a l t e r n a -t i v e s for choice presented to farmers. A l l are designed to r a i s e crop y i e l d s on l i m i t e d landholdings. The projects are c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d so that optimal y i e l d s require t h e i r simultaneous adoption, but high y i e l d i n g seeds and a d d i t i o n a l f e r t i l i z e r s are e s p e c i a l l y important. 103 N u t r i t i o n Programmes to improve standards of n u t r i t i o n complement the aims of a g r i c u l t u r a l extension. Related projects include t r a i n i n g i n n u t r i t i o n and food preparation, promotion of kitchen vegetable gardens, and poultry farming. The f i r s t two are directed mainly at women and are introduced through v i l l a g e clubs established for them. N u t r i t i o n Training Classes are designed to f a m i l i a r i z e v i l l a g e women with the requirements of a balanced d i e t . They include advice on high protein foods and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of vitamins and fresh vegetables. They further advise on methods of food preparation and preservation to maximize n u t r i t i o n a l value. Vegetable Gardens. Women are encouraged to c u l t i v a t e small s t r i p s of land around t h e i r houses and within c e n t r a l courtyards to grow vegetables. Small packets of vegetable seeds are supplied free to promote the scheme. Poultry Farming d i f f e r s from preceding projects i n being directed towards organized groups within the communities and not to i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l i e s . Grants are av a i l a b l e through the Blocks to subsidize the establishment of the farms. A condition of the grant i s that one-third of the eggs produced should be d i s t r i b u t e d free to pregnant women and young chi l d r e n i n the v i l l a g e . Sanitation The t h i r d aspect of the programme i s concerned with improving standards of hygiene and sa n i t a t i o n i n the v i l l a g e s . Projects include promotion of water-sealed l a t r i n e d and protected drinking water supplies. Water-sealed l a t r i n e s promoted through the programmes have been s p e c i a l l y designed for v i l l a g e use. They comprise a simple concrete mould i n s t a l l e d over a septic tank and can be flushed with a small quantity of water. 104 T h e i r ma jor h e a l t h advan tage o v e r the t r a d i t i o n a l use o f open f i e l d s s u r r o u n d i n g the v i l l a g e s i s t h e i r c l o s u r e t o f l i e s and a n i m a l s , wh ich r e d u c e s t h e r i s k s o f d i s e a s e t r a n s m i s s i o n and tapeworms. T r e a t e d waste can a l s o be c o l l e c t e d and r e c y c l e d as f e r t i l i z e r . P r o t e c t e d D r i n k i n g Water i s p romoted t h r o u g h t h e use o f c h e m i c a l p u r i -f i e r s and new f a c i l i t i e s . S m a l l amounts o f c h e m i c a l p u r i f i e r s s u c h as p o t a s h and b l e a c h a r e recommended f o r t r e a t i n g a l l open w e l l s once o r t w i c e a y e a r . In some l o c a l i t i e s t h i s i s o c c a s i o n a l l y done by h e a l t h o f f i c i a l s . P r o v i s i o n o f newly s t y l e d modern w e l l s o f f e r s a more permanent answer t o t h e need f o r p r o t e c t e d w a t e r s u p p l i e s . These w e l l s a r e l i n e d w i t h c o n c r e t e and have h i g h s u r r o u n d i n g w a l l s w h i c h p r o t e c t the wa te r f rom s u r f a c e r u n o f f . L i m i t e d g r a n t s a r e a v a i l a b l e f o r p r o v i s i o n o f modern p u b l i c w e l l s and f o r improvements t o p r i v a t e h o u s e h o l d w e l l s . Handpumps p r o v i d e a f u r t h e r s o u r c e o f p r o t e c t e d w a t e r . F a m i l y P l a n n i n g The immedia te o b j e c t i v e o f t h i s a s p e c t o f the programmes i s t o e n c o u r a g e and f a c i l i t a t e r e s t r i c t i o n s o f f a m i l y s i z e , i d e a l l y t o two c h i l d r e n . S t e r i l i z a t i o n i s a c c o r d e d the most emphas is as a p e r m a -n e n t , c h e a p , and r e l a t i v e l y s i m p l e o p e r a t i o n t o p e r f o r m on men i n m o b i l e c l i n i c s . Use o f condoms i s a l s o e n c o u r a g e d , w i t h some b e i n g d i s t r i b u t e d f r e e d u r i n g f a m i l y p l a n n i n g d r i v e s i n the v i l l a g e s . I . U . D . ' s a r e s p o n s o r e d t h r o u g h government c l i n i c s , b u t a r e g e n e r a l l y g i v e n l e s s emphas is t h a n o t h e r t e c h n i q u e s . C o n t r a c e p t i v e p i l l s a r e a l s o a v a i l a b l e , b u t a r e e x p e n s i v e and c o m p l i c a t e d t o use and a r e n o t g e n e r a l l y recommended f o r v i l l a g e women. 105 Aid and Grant F a c i l i t i e s Funds and materials are made ava i l a b l e through the Blocks to f a c i l i t a t e investment i n the programmes. They include loans, grants, and other supplies, and also s p e c i a l a i d and emergency funds. Two major i n s t i t u t i o n s which support investment i n agriculture are v i l l a g e cooperative s o c i e t i e s , and government-operated seed and f e r t i l i z e r stores. In addition, special-purpose grants and "taccavi" loans are a v a i l a b l e to i n d i v i d u a l farmers to finance investment i n i r r i g a t i o n f a c i l i t i e s , a g r i c u l t u r a l implements and work animals. Temporary a i d schemes include grants for house r e p a i r s , and occasionally d i s t r i b u t i o n of clothes, f l o u r , seed grain, and money to f a m i l i e s of handicapped men who are unable to work. Other l i m i t e d funds are a v a i l a b l e to pro-mote supplementary employment schemes for the landless. Public Amenities This l a s t aspect of the programmes i s designed to improve l i v i n g conditions for the v i l l a g e communities as a whole. P r i o r i t y i s given to three main amenities; good access roads, a primary school, and a community h a l l or panchayat house. Other amenities which may be sponsored include paved lanes, gutters, bridges and drainage where needed, modern p u b l i c wells, and p o s s i b l y j u n i o r schools and c l i n i c s i n larger v i l l a g e centres. For a l l such projects the contribution of the development programmes i s usually confined to provision of materials with v i l l a g e r s being expected to provide a l l or part of the necessary labour on a voluntary b a s i s . 106 Adoption of Projects The pattern of adoption of these projects by v i l l a g e , i s summarized i n Table VIII. This table indicates the mean rate of adoption, averaged over each project included i n various aspects of the programmes described above. Each project i s given equal weighting i n d eriving these means. The f u l l - l e n g t h table, in which frequency of adoption of each project i s l i s t e d separately, i s given i n the appendix Table XLII."'" The summary table indicates the r e s t r i c t e d and piecemeal implementation of projects i n each f i e l d of a c t i v i t y covered by the programmes. A g r i c u l t u r a l extension has been r e l a t i v e l y more success-f u l , perhaps r e f l e c t i n g the greater emphasis given by Block o f f i c i a l s to t h i s aspect of the programme, but averaged adoption rates are far from impressive. Sanitation, n u t r i t i o n , and family planning projects have progressively lower average rates of adoption by v i l l a g e r s . Even major c r e d i t f a c i l i t i e s have been u t i l i z e d by only one-quarter or le s s of those e l i g i b l e . Three of the f i v e v i l l a g e s lack even basic amenities, and i n the remaining two p r o v i s i o n i s far from comprehensive. These v i l l a g e s c l e a r l y provide no exception to the general experience of l i m i t e d achievements from r u r a l development programmes evidenced in many previous studies i n Indian v i l l a g e s . This i s not withstanding the i n i t i a l bias i n s e l e c t i o n of v i l l a g e s for the study which favoured those which had received r e l a t i v e l y greater attention from Block workers. Other v i l l a g e s i n the area are l i k e l y to have lower rates of innovation. A d e t a i l e d explanation of how tabular material was derived, and the construction of summary tables of r e s u l t s , i s given i n the chapter on Research Procedures, e s p e c i a l l y pages 82 - 85. 107 Table VIII. Summary of Mean Adoption Rates for a l l Projects by V i l l a g e Aspect of Programme One V i l l a g e Two Three Four Five Total A g r i c u l t u r e 22 34 28 37 33 33 N u t r i t i o n 13 29 16 22 19 19 Sanitation 25 46 41 12 22 27 Family Planning 5 3 4 4 3 4 Application for funds 9 14 12 16 13 13 Overall Programme 16 27 22 26 23 23 Total No. farmers 95 48 89 96 117 445 Total a l l respondents 124 64 110 110 132 540 Amenities Present Access Road No Yes No Yes No School Yes Yes No Yes Yes Panchayat House Yes Yes No No Yes Lanes & Bridges No Yes No Yes Yes Drainage/gutters No Yes No No Yes In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged percent of respondents who adopted a l l projects included i n d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes. For f u l l - l e n g t h table i n which each project i s l i s t e d separately, see appendix Table XLII. This table i s derived from responses to questions 14-35, 78, and 89-92 i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 108 There i s no marked v a r i a t i o n i n innovative p o t e n t i a l between the f i v e v i l l a g e s . The second v i l l a g e appears generally the more progressive and the f i r s t v i l l a g e the l e a s t , but differences are not great and are not consistent across a l l aspects of the programmes. Provision of public amenities does vary considerably between v i l l a g e s . This r e f l e c t s p a r t l y the higher proportion of wealthy landowners, and differences i n a v a i l a b i l i t y of funds and materials by v i l l a g e . These issues w i l l be examined further i n chapter Seven i n r e l a t i o n to patterns of a l l o c a t i o n and control over such funds as are made ava i l a b l e to p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e s . V a r i a t i o n i n patterns of response between d i f f e r e n t sectors of the communities i s of ce n t r a l concern i n the following analysis. This i s examined i n r e l a t i o n to f i v e main categories of respondents; the Proudhans - or v i l l a g e leaders - and t h e i r close associates, promi-nent r i v a l s and t h e i r supporters, and neutral respondents of higher, middle or lower caste rank. Table IX summarizes the averaged rate of adoption of projects for d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, by f a c t i o n and caste d i v i s i o n s . The f u l l - l e n g t h table, which l i s t s frequency of adoption of each s p e c i f i c p r oject, i s given i n t h i s appendix. The summary table indicates marked and consistent differences i n averaged adoption rates across these d i f f e r e n t sectors. For each aspect of the programmes the Proudhans' supporters have the highest average frequency of adoption. Second to them are the neutral higher castes, comprising those who are not associated with any major fa c t i o n d i v i s i o n . R i v a l f a c t i o n supporters, although predominently wealthy and higher caste respondents, evidence a generally lower frequency of 109 Table IX. Summary of Mean Adoption Rates for a l l Projects by Faction & Caste Faction & Caste Aspect of Programme P. R. H. M. L. Total % % % % % % Agriculture 52 34 39 26 24 33 Nutrition 48 21 23 18 11 19 Sanitation 50 30 34 29 20 27 Family Planning 11 5 6 2 3 4 Application for Funds 24 17 17 10 11 13 Overall Programme 41 25 28 19 17 22 Total No. Farmers 48 49 43 118 187 445 Total No. Respondents 51 56 45 144 243 540 Key: P = Proudhans1 supporters R = Rival faction supporters H = Neutral Higher Castes M = Neutral Middle Castes L = Neutral Lower Castes In this summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged percent of.respondents who adopted a l l projects included in different aspects of the programmes. For full-length table in which frequency of adoption for each project is listed separately, see appendix, Table XLIII. This table is derived from responses to questions 14-535, 78, and 89-92 in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 110 adoption than e i t h e r of these sectors. Middle castes and f i n a l l y the lower castes have the lowest averaged frequency of adoption. In summary, a theory of choice behaviour i n t h i s context must be able to explain both the low o v e r a l l response, and the consistent d i f f e r e n t i a l i n response rates between sectors of the communities. The following three chapters examine the s i g n i f i c a n c e of hypotheses derived from the theory proposed above as determinants of d i f f e r e n t i a l choice parameters with respect to the programmes. CHAPTER FIVE INFORMATION AND CHOICE The a l t e r n a t i v e s known to a chooser, and information concern-ing them, comprise the f i r s t c r i t i c a l parameters of any choice s i t u a t i o n . The a l t e r n a t i v e s considered by a chooser are n e c e s s a r i l y l i m i t e d by previous experience and new information a v a i l a b l e . Limited knowledge i s p a r t i c u l a r l y c r i t i c a l i n the context of innovations which involve choices outside of regular a c t i v i t i e s . I t i s i n such contexts that the discrepancies between p o t e n t i a l and known a l t e r n a t i v e s are l i k e l y to be greatest. In the theory of choice behaviour proposed, here the f i r s t concern i s with s o c i a l processes which influence the scope of a l t e r n a -t i v e s l i k e l y to enter the f i e l d of choice, and the range of relevant information made ava i l a b l e to persons d i f f e r e n t i a l l y situated within a given community. This analysis focuses on primary sources of relevant information, and the means of communication between these sources and those concerned with such choices. S p e c i f i c questions r a i s e d concern l o c i of control over means of communication, d i f f e r e n t i a l access to them, and the amount and content of information disseminated throughout a community. Control over information transmission constitutes a p o t e n t i a l basis for power i n a community. Power i s defined here as "the a b i l i t y to exert influence over the choices of action of others". The capacity . of any one informant or intermediary to influence the information 111 112 received by others depends on the range of alternative means for communication of relevant information. The more restricted these are the greater one informant's influence w i l l be over the choices of others. This in turn is likely to foster vested interests in re-stricting independent access to means of communication in order to retain and strengthen personal influence. The general assumption of the theory concerning information flow is that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who control the flow of infor-mation, either as primary sources or as intermediaries, w i l l determine the amount, content, and bias in information which they disseminate. Three specific hypotheses which are derived from this assumption are that: 1) Where particular individuals control access to means of communication within a community, they w i l l encourage the access of close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. 2) Where particular individuals function as intermediaries in the diffusion of information within a community, they w i l l disseminate information primarily to close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. 3) Intermediaries in the diffusion of information w i l l encourage the transmission of any information seen as supporting the objectives of close associates, and w i l l obstruct the transmission of information seen as opposed to such objectives. These hypotheses assume that relations between close associates and 113 status equals are more l i k e l y to be characterized by ease of i n t e r a c t i o n and coincidence of i n t e r e s t s than are r e l a t i o n s between s o c i a l l y more di s t a n t persons. Such factors are l i k e l y to promote the sharing of information. The converse i s also assumed. Rivalry and h o s t i l e r e l a t i o n s between persons w i l l discourage the sharing of information. In t h i s study i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with recognized f a c t i o n leaders i s taken as a primary measure of close association. Status comprises two c l o s e l y r e l a t e d variables of caste and landholding. The high c o r r e l a t i o n between them makes i t d i f f i c u l t to separate t h e i r s i g n i f i -cance as a t t r i b u t e s of status. In the following analysis p r i o r i t y i s accorded to caste rank i n determining s i m i l a r i t y of status with landholding as a secondary c r i t e r i o n . Source and Means of Communication This study i s concerned with the transmission of information on development programmes to a l l households within the selected v i l l a g e communities. An important d i s t i n c t i o n i s made between 'first-hand communication' which comes d i r e c t l y from primary sources of information, whether t h i s i s through personal contact or mass media, and 'second-hand' or i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n of information i n which other people act as intermediaries between a r e c i p i e n t and the main informant. The primary sources of information on a l l development projects at v i l l a g e l e v e l are the Block o f f i c i a l s who are d i r e c t l y responsible for t h e i r i n i t i a t i o n i n the v i l l a g e s . To a lesser extent the s t a f f of a g r i c u l t u r a l research stations, seed merchants, and occasional government o f f i c i a l s who tour the v i l l a g e s function as informants but only on an infrequent basis. 114 Important means of first-hand communication from Block o f f i c i a l s to villagers include personal contact, participation in village clubs and council meetings where projects are presented and discussed, and some use of mass media, including radio programmes, distribution of literature and occasional film shows in the villages. These various means of communication are described briefly below. Personal contacts with o f f i c i a l s are especially valuable in offering the opportunity for detailed discussion and questioning. Village-level-workers are assigned to work in six to eight villages depending on their size, for an average period of two years. They are expected to v i s i t each village regularly to sponsor new projects, lead clubs and discussions, and generally to be available to a l l villagers for advice and questioning. Senior Block o f f i c i a l s less frequently v i s i t the villages but they can be approached and consulted at the Block headquarters. Village clubs organized by Block o f f i c i a l s include youth clubs, radio clubs, and special clubs for women. The youth clubs provide a forum for discussion of new farming techniques, practical hints, and some special programmes in applied nutrition, family planning, and poultry farming. Radio clubs are organized around regular programmes on agriculture which are broadcast each weekday evening. A transistor radio i s supplied free to the group leader in each village. He i s also given pre-addressed letter-forms, on which to send any questions to the programme organizers for discussion in future broadcasts. Separate women-1 s clubs have been organized in selected villages under the direction of female Block workers. They are concerned primarily with 115 a p p l i e d n u t r i t i o n t r a i n i n g , f o o d p r e p a r a t i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n , g e n e r a l baby c a r e , and h o u s e h o l d h i n t s . The P a n c h a y a t , o r v i l l a g e c o u n c i l m e e t i n g s , p r o v i d e an a d d i t i o n a l forum f o r c o m m u n i c a t i o n and d i s c u s s i o n o f new p r o j e c t s and a l s o o f v a r i o u s g r a n t s and a i d f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h the B l o c k s . Mass media p l a y a l a r g e l y s u p p o r t i v e r o l e t o t h e s e i n t e r -p e r s o n a l and s o c i a l means o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n . O n l y a t i n y p r o p o r t i o n o f a l l g e n e r a l l y a v a i l a b l e mass med ia c o n t e n t i n r a d i o b r o a d c a s t s , l i t e r a t u r e , and c i n e m a , i s r e l e v a n t f o r i n f o r m a t i o n on d e v e l o p m e n t programmes. I n d i c e s o f mass med ia e x p o s u r e t h u s do n o t p r o v i d e an a p p r o p r i a t e measure o f p o t e n t i a l i n f o r m a t i o n f l o w on t h e s e p r o j e c t s . R e l e v a n t media i s c o n f i n e d l a r g e l y t o t h a t p r e p a r e d and d i s t r i b u t e d t h r o u g h t h e B l o c k s . Communica t ion C o n t r o l and I n t e r m e d i a r i e s B l o c k o f f i c i a l s r e t a i n p r i m a r y c o n t r o l o v e r f i r s t - h a n d communica t ion w i t h v i l l a g e r s b u t i n p r a c t i c e t h e y work v e r y c l o s e l y w i t h P r o u d h a n s , t h e v i l l a g e headmen. Proudhans a r e u s u a l l y the f i r s t t o be a p p r o a c h e d w i t h i n a v i l l a g e ; t h e y a r e r e s p o n s i b l e f o r m e e t i n g and e n t e r t a i n i n g v i s i t i n g B l o c k p e r s o n n e l , f o r a r r a n g i n g o f f i c e s p a c e f o r them - t h i s o f t e n i n t h e i r own h o u s e , and f o r i n f o r m i n g and i n v i t i n g o t h e r v i l l a g e r s t o s u c h m e e t i n g s . The Proudhans a l s o make a r r a n g e m e n t s f o r any p r o p o s e d c l u b s t o be s e t up i n t h e i r v i l l a g e , a r r a n g e a r e g u l a r m e e t i n g p l a c e , and i n i t i a t e i n v i t a t i o n s t o o t h e r v i l l a g e r s . They a r e g i v e n c u s t o d y o f t h e government r a d i o and o f l i t e r a t u r e f o r d i s t r i b u t i o n t o c l u b members and v i l l a g e r s a t l a r g e . They a r e a l s o t h e f i r s t t o be i n f o r m e d o f i m p e n d i n g f i l m shows and 116 are expected to c l e a r a space i n the v i l l a g e where they can be held. In addition, Proudhans have sole r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r c a l l i n g a l l public meetings of the panchayats and informing representatives and the general public of when and where these meetings are to be held. Proudhans are thus able to exercise a s i g n i f i c a n t degree of control over access to a l l means of f i r s t - h a n d communication between v i l l a g e r s and Block informants. The ce n t r a l issues examined below are patterns of access to such communication, further d i f f u s i o n of information, and the content of information transmitted. Access to First-Hand Communication The f i r s t concern i s with s o c i a l determinants of d i f f e r e n t i a l access to fi r s t - h a n d communication with primary sources of information. The t h e o r e t i c a l assumption examined below i s that the locus of control over means of communication within the s o c i a l hierarchy of the commun-i t i e s constitutes a c r i t i c a l determinant of d i f f e r e n t i a l access, i n that: 1) Where p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l s control access to means of communication, they w i l l encourage the access of close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. In t h i s case, Block personnel are primary informants with v i l l a g e Proudhans exe r c i s i n g s i g n i f i c a n t control over means of communication between them and v i l l a g e r s . I t i s predicted, f i r s t l y , that those who share s i m i l a r caste and c l a s s p o s i t i o n to Block o f f i c i a l s w i l l receive p r e f e r e n t i a l attention from them. Secondly, close f a c t i o n associates, 117 and o t h e r s o f s i m i l a r c a s t e rank as the P r o u d h a n s , w i l l r e c e i v e p r e f -e r e n t i a l a c c e s s t o a l l means o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n o r g a n i z e d t h r o u g h them. T h i s i s t h e c o n v e r s e o f t h e p r e d i c t i o n i m p l i e d i n t h e s t r a t e g y o f f o c u s i n g e n e r g i e s on l o c a l l e a d e r s on t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e y w i l l p romote t h e i n v o l v e m e n t o f s u b o r d i n a t e s . T h i s s t r a t e g y assumes v e r t i c a l a s s o c i a t i o n , w h i l e t h e p r e s e n t h y p o t h e s i s i m p l i e s h o r i z o n t a l a s s o c i a t i o n o c c u r r i n g p r i m a r i l y w i t h i n , r a t h e r t h a n a c r o s s s t r a t a . The d a t a on a c c e s s t o a l l means o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n between B l o c k o f f i c i a l s a n d v i l l a g e r s s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t s t h e above h y p o t h e s i s . A c c e s s i s b o t h r e s t r i c t e d and h i g h l y s e l e c t i v e . F o r e a c h c h a n n e l o f c o m m u n i c a t i o n p r o p o r t i o n a l a c c e s s o f r e s p o n d e n t s d e c l i n e s p r o g r e s s i v e l y w i t h i n c r e a s i n g d i s p a r i t i e s i n s o c i a l s t a t u s f rom t h e e l i t e s t o t h e l o w e s t s t r a t u m . W i t h o u t e x c e p t i o n t h e P r o u d h a n s ' s s u p p o r t e r s e n j o y p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y h i g h e r a c c e s s t o e a c h c h a n n e l t h a n o t h e r s e c t o r s o f the c o m m u n i t i e s . N e u t r a l h i g h e r c a s t e r e s p o n d e n t s who a r e n o t a s s o c -i a t e d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e f a c t i o n s have t h e s e c o n d h i g h e s t f r e -quency o f a c c e s s . T h i r d a r e r i v a l f a c t i o n s u p p o r t e r s and t h e n m i d d l e c a s t e s and l a s t l y t h e lower c a s t e s . H i g h c a s t e members o f t h o s e f a c t i o n s w h i c h r i v a l t h e incumbent Proudhans have c o n s i s t e n t l y lower r a t e s o f a c c e s s t h a n o t h e r h i g h e r c a s t e r e s i d e n t s , bu t n e v e r as r e -s t r i c t e d as t h a t o f low c a s t e s . S t a t u s d i s p a r i t y a p p e a r s t o be o f g r e a t e r s i g n i f i c a n c e t h a n r i v a l r y i n r e s t r i c t i n g s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n i n e v e r y d a y a f f a i r s . W h i l e r i v a l s a r e e x c l u d e d t o a g r e a t e r e x t e n t t h a n o t h e r c a s t e e q u a l s * t h e y n o n e t h e l e s s a r e p r e f e r r e d o v e r members o f t h e lower s t r a t a . Low c a s t e s have t h e l o w e s t p r o p o r t i o n a l and o f t e n the l o w e s t a b s o l u t e a c c e s s t o any f i r s t - h a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n , 1 1 8 although they comprise one-half of the t o t a l residents. The d i f f e r e n t media p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e appear to be mutually r e i n f o r c i n g . Very r a r e l y does access to one medium of communication compensate for r e s t r i c t e d access to others. The processes which structure t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l access to s p e c i f i c means of communication are examined i n more depth below. Contact With O f f i c i a l s The extent of d i r e c t contact with o f f i c i a l s i s measured through each respondent's assessment of the frequency with which he has met and talked with them. 'Frequent contact' i s defined as having talked with them on the average "once every month or so". 'Occasional contact' indicates "only once or twice during the previous year" or two crop seasons. Block o f f i c i a l s exercise d i r e c t control over these exchanges with v i l l a g e r s . They do not require the cooperation of p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e leaders to arrange such meetings although they may seek t h i s . They have both the opportunity and also the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to v i s i t a l l areas of the v i l l a g e s assigned to them. Table X indicates proportional contact with o f f i c i a l s enjoyed by respondents from d i f f e r e n t sectors of the v i l l a g e communities. The r e s t r i c t e d nature of such i n t e r a c t i o n i s indicated by the fa c t that two-thirds of a l l respondents said they had never talked d i r e c t l y with o f f i c i a l s . Almost h a l f of them did not know who these people were. For others recognition was often confined to seeing them i n the market or taking tea on the Proudhan's front porch. Only f i f t e e n percent of a l l respondents claimed frequent contact with o f f i c i a l s . These comprise respondents mainly from among the Proudhans' supporters and neutral higher castes. 119 Table X. First-hand Communication With B l o c k , O f f i c i a l s By Faction and Caste Faction and Caste Talks with O f f i c i a l s Pr. Riv. High Mid. Low. Total Q, "O % % % % No. % Frequent 59 14 38 11 5 83 15 Occasional 23 30 22 19 12 97 18 None 18 56 40 70 83 360 67 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 Key: Frequent = once a month or so Occasional = once or twice during previous year None = les s than t h i s . 120 Other sectors of the communities were largely ignored. Low caste respondents, in particular, often claimed that o f f i c i a l s had never entered their street, never stopped to talk with them, and did not v i s i t their fields. These same respondents were often reluctant to v i s i t the Block offices or headquarters for fear of rebuff. The few low caste respondents who had gone were made to feel unwelcome. They recounted stories of being pointedly ignored by petty clerks and made to squat in the corridor a l l day only to be told to 'come back tomorrow'. Such experiences do l i t t l e to encourage them or their neighbours to seek out Block o f f i c i a l s for advice or information. These data indicate that Block o f f i c i a l s have been highly selective in the contacts they have sought with villagers. This bias in favour of village elites i s consistent with the hypothesis that informants w i l l prefer to associate with those of similar status to themselves. It is the elites who tend to have most in common with o f f i c i a l s in terms of caste rank, wealth, and generally higher education, than other villagers. Village Clubs Three important village clubs were organized by Block o f f i c i a l s in the villages studied; a youth club, a radio club, and a club for women. Membership of these three clubs is shown in Table XI. Access to them is measured in terms of four distinct categories. The f i r s t includes respondents who claimed to have actually attended the clubs. The second includes respondents who claimed that they were invited but did not attend. The third category indicates the respondents who know that the clubs were held in the village but said that they had never 121 Table XI. Direct Access to V i l l a g e Organizations By Faction and Caste Faction and Caste Organization Pr. % Riv. o, "o High % Mid. % Low % Total No. % a) Youth Club Attend 76 34 53 21 19 160 30 Invited 4 6 9 6 2 24 4 Not asked 14 31 27 31 20 131 24 Club unknown 6 29 11 42 59 225 42 b) Radio Club Attend 51 14 20 12 5 72 13 Invited 4 3 15 3 3 22 4 Not asked 18 23 25 23 14 100 19 Club unknown 27 60 40 62 78 346 64 c) Women's Club Attend 76 16 30 17 5 98 18 Invited 8 5 13 10 9 49 9 Not asked 10 16 24 20 14 89 16 Club unknown 6 63 33 53 72 304 57 Attendance of Panchayat A l l meetings 46 9 22 15 10 85 16 Some mettings 34 31 38 25 32 166 31 None 20 60 40 60 58 289 53 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 1 2 2 been i n v i t e d to attend. The l a s t category includes those who did not know about the club at a l l . This d i v i s i o n permits a very important d i s t i n c t i o n to be drawn i n patterns of access to the clubs. Individuals enjoy free choice to attend a club only when they have been i n v i t e d . The proportion who were i n v i t e d but decided not to attend thus provides the only clear i n d i c a t i o n of d i s i n t e r e s t , or reluctance to attend. Others who were not i n v i t e d and e s p e c i a l l y those respondents who had not heard about the clubs are e f f e c t i v e l y excluded from p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i r r e s p e c t i v e of t h e i r personal i n c l i n a t i o n s . The importance of t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n w i l l be indicated further below. Block o f f i c i a l s who sponsor the clubs have considerable influence over t h e i r organization and membership. Next to them the v i l l a g e Proudhans exert a s i g n i f i c a n t degree of control through arrang-ing club meetings, informing other v i l l a g e r s about the clubs, and extending i n v i t a t i o n s to them to attend. This process was i l l u s t r a t e d by the inauguration of a women's club which I attended. The Block o f f i c i a l who was to be responsible for the club went d i r e c t l y to the Proudhan's house, where she was expected. While she was entertained on the front porch of h i s house, the Proudhan sent h i s sons to round up women for a meeting. A short time l a t e r the meeting took place i n the yard i n front of h i s house. I t was dominated by high caste women drawn from homes i n the immediate v i c i n i t y . A few of t h e i r lower-caste servants squatted at the back. The Proudhan's daughter was nominated, without objection, to be club leader and keep records. A demonstration was scheduled for the following week and then the meeting was disbanded. At a rough estimate, le s s than a dozen separate 123 fa m i l i e s were represented among the audience. The vast majority of v i l l a g e women were unaware that i t was happening, or that a club was being organized. I f they do f i n d out i t i s u n l i k e l y that t h i s w i l l take the form of a d i r e c t i n v i t a t i o n to attend. It i s p a r t i c u -l a r l y u n l i k e l y i f they are of markedly lower status than t h i s i n i t i a l group of women. In a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , the many other clubs i n other v i l l a g e s were inaugurated i n a s i m i l a r manner. The r e s u l t i n g pattern of i n v i t a t i o n and attendance i s r e s t r i c t e d and s e l e c t i v e for a l l the clubs i n each of the f i v e v i l l a g e s . Youth Club The men's youth club appears to be the l e a s t r e s t r i c t i v e of a l l clubs i n operation. One-third of v i l l a g e families were a c t u a l l y i n v i t e d to attend. But i t i s s t i l l the Proudhans' supporters and neutral higher caste respondents who dominate the membership, with a much smaller proportion of lower caste youths. The club i n the fourth v i l l a g e appears a p a r t i a l exception i n being dominated by r i v a l f a c t i o n supporters from an adjacent hamlet. However, q u a r r e l l i n g broke out between them and the incumbent Proudhan over leadership of the club, and i t was closed down some two years p r i o r to the study. Radio Club Membership of the radio club i s l i m i t e d to t h i r t e e n percent of a l l f a m i l i e s . One government radio was supplied free to each v i l l a g e Proudhan, and two i n the case of the largest f i f t h v i l l a g e . These radios have come to be regarded as the pri v a t e property of the Proudhans. Only t h e i r immediate friends and possibly a few household 124 servants appear to have ever been i n v i t e d to l i s t e n to them. The radios also i n v a r i a b l y remain i n the Proudhans 1 homes, so that only those v i l l a g e r s who have easy access to t h e i r homes have access to the 'public' radios. A p a r t i a l exception i s the f i r s t v i l l a g e where the radio was given to the Sarpanch. He had taken over as acting v i l l a g e leader during the prolonged absence of the incumbent Proudhan. The pattern of use i s the same. In the fourth v i l l a g e no radio club was started at a l l . The Proudhan claimed that i t was 'unnecessary' since 'everybody i n the v i l l a g e has a radio anyway'. Everybody, i n th i s case, included only h i s close associates, excluding eighty per-cent of v i l l a g e f a m i l i e s who do not possess a radio. Women's Clubs The women's clubs r e f l e c t s i m i l a r l y r e s t r i c t e d attendance, t o t a l l i n g l e s s than o n e - f i f t h of a l l f a m i l i e s . They are dominated i n the same way by members of the Proudhans' factions and other higher castes. Again, i n the fourth v i l l a g e the club was never inaugurated. The male v i l l a g e leader eventually explained that he and his assoc-i a t e s disapproved of higher caste women appearing i n p u b l i c without male^escorts. Hence, they had rejected the Block's o f f e r to i n v i t e V-women from t h e i r v i l l a g e to attend n u t r i t i o n t r a i n i n g classes or a l o c a l club. Almost no-one else i n the v i l l a g e knew that the suggestion had ever been made. In summary, a l l the v i l l a g e clubs sponsored by the Blocks have i n pract i c e reverted to the form of pr i v a t e clubs. They are dominated by a se l e c t few of high caste f a m i l i e s who are close 125 associates of the Proudhans who organized the clubs. For the most part, they only meet i n his private house. Other v i l l a g e r s remain l a r g e l y uninvited, and unwelcome should they turn up. Any clubs not wanted by the v i l l a g e leaders were simply not organized. In the one case where a r i v a l f a c t i o n dominated the new youth club q u a r r e l l i n g between them and the Proudhan forced i t s closure. The proportion of v i l l a g e r s who were i n v i t e d but chose not to attend the clubs i s very small. I t accounts for only four percent of respondents for the youth clubs and radio clubs, and an estimated nine percent for the women's clubs. In t h i s l a t t e r case, i t was usually the male heads of households who spoke for the women i n t h e i r f a m i l i e s . The extent to which non-attendance r e f l e c t s the personal choice of the women, as against r e s t r i c t i o n s placed on them, i s not cl e a r . With respect to a l l the clubs the majority of respondents appeared to be ignorant of t h e i r existence. A further large propor-t i o n knew of them but had never been d i r e c t l y i n v i t e d to attend. These two categories together average seventy-four percent of a l l respondents. Ri v a l f a c t i o n supporters and lower castes are heavily over-represented within t h i s number. For t h i s majority of v i l l a g e r s the option to attend the d i f f e r e n t clubs has never been open to them. They are e f f e c t i v e l y excluded from p a r t i c i p a t i o n , i r r e s p e c t i v e of t h e i r personal i n c l i n a t i o n s . While such a high proportion remain ignorant and uninvited the low average attendance of clubs cannot be explained i n terms of l i m i t e d i n t e r e s t . The causes must be sought f i r s t i n inadequate communication, and p o l i c i e s which promote the se l e c t i v e 126 exclusion of the majority of the potential village clientele. Panchayat Meetings Panchayat meetings are public assemblies which are supposed to be held monthly, and to which a l l villagers have the right to attend. It comprises the smallest local unit of government at village level. As such, i t is stressed in government policies as a c r i t i c a l forum for the introduction of the development programmes. Data on attendance is shown in the preceding Table XI. It is divided into those who claimed to attend a l l meetings, and those who have never attended. The middle category includes those who attended only some of the meetings which they heard about. The Proudhans exercise sole control over the holding of panchayat meetings, and the extent of prior notification throughout the village. O f f i c i a l l y , one public meeting of the panchayat should be scheduled for each month. In practice, they were rarely called more than two or three times a year in any of the five villages. None had been held during the previous two years in the fourth village. Prior notification of the few public meetings which were called appeared to be limited. In one instance respondents from a low caste street learned that a meeting was about to be held that afternoon. When they arrived at the panchayat hall, i t was only to find that the meeting had been concluded several hours earlier in the morning. This was long before they had been notified. Comments by many middle and low caste respondents, including their o f f i c i a l representatives within the councils, indicated that lack of prior invitation to meetings 127 i s a common experience. In t h e i r view, they were c a l l e d to meetings only when they were required to provide free labour for projects already approved by council leaders. Any decisions concerning the s e l e c t i o n of projects were usually concluded p r i o r to any such 'public' or general meeting. I t thus appears that a large proportion of v i l l a g e r s are excluded from attendance of panchayat meetings by v i r t u e of not being informed or i n v i t e d . While t h i s remains true, the possible d i s i n t e r e s t of v i l l a g e r s i n panchayat a f f a i r s cannot be d i r e c t l y i n f e r r e d from low rates of attendance. In t o t a l , only sixteen percent of a l l respondents claimed to attend a l l meetings which they knew about. Over h a l f the respondents had never attended any meeting. Supporters of r i v a l factions within the v i l l a g e s evidenced a conspicuously low frequency of attendance. The v i l l a g e councils do not appear to provide a forum for debate between f a c t i o n s . They are dominated p r i m a r i l y by the Proudhans' own fa c t i o n supporters. This combination of infrequent meetings and r e s t r i c t e d attendance suggests that panchayats have l i m i t e d u t i l i t y as a forum for spreading information on development programmes among v i l l a g e r s at large. Like the v i l l a g e clubs described above, they appear to function mainly as private gatherings for the incumbent Proudhan and h i s supporters. They become pu b l i c forums only when a new e l e c t i o n i s i n the o f f i n g . Mass Media Mass media are widely heralded i n the l i t e r a t u r e on communi-cation and development as the great s o c i a l l e v e l l e r , open to a l l i r r e s p e c t i v e of rank. However, i n p r a c t i c e t h i s requires access to 128 mass media f a c i l i t i e s ; - to a radio, to l i t e r a t u r e , or to a cinema, -and also to relevant content. Too many studies of mass media ignore t h i s c r i t i c a l factor of relevant content when they tr e a t access to f a c i l i t i e s as indices of exposure to information. Popular music programmes, r e l i g i o u s stories^ and Bombay movies, a l l constitute exposure to mass media but they have minimal relevance for dissemi-nating information on development programmes. Relevant materials are confined l a r g e l y to that prepared by the Block or d i s t r i b u t e d through them. Access to these materials i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d with access to Block o f f i c i a l s . Radio programmes on a g r i c u l t u r a l extension are broadcast each weekday evening for quarter of an hour. Other i r r e g u l a r l y scheduled broadcasts carry information on family planning, and new pr a c t i c e s i n n u t r i t i o n and s a n i t a t i o n . V i l l a g e r s who themselves possess a radio have p o t e n t i a l l y d i r e c t access to a l l such programmes. The pattern of ownership, shown i n Table XII, indicates that ownership was confined to a minority of f i f t e e n percent of a l l v i l l a g e f a m i l i e s . This minority includes two-thirds of the Proudhans' supporters, and one-third of neutral higher castes. These respondents comprise mostly the wealthier and higher caste members of the v i l l a g e communi-t i e s . Only a t i n y minority of low caste fa m i l i e s possess radios. Access to radios i s extended to friends and neighbours of those who own a set. Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they d i d l i s t e n to radios owned by other people. Such opportunities are necessarily r e s t r i c t e d by the i n i t i a l bias i n d i s t r i b u t i o n of radios within the v i l l a g e s . In t o t a l , f o r t y - s i x percent of respondents 129 Table XII. Dir e c t Access to Mass Media by Faction and Caste Faction and Caste Type of Medium Pr. Riv. High Mid. Low Total % % % % % No. % a) Access to a Radio Owns a radio Friend's radio No access b) Access to Broadcasts on Agriculture Frequently - d e t a i l s known Sometimes - d e t a i l s known Sometimes - l i t t l e knowledge Broadcasts never heard c) Access to Li t e r a t u r e on Agriculture 2 booklets - e a s i l y understood 1 booklet - e a s i l y understood 1 booklet - hard to understand None - but can read None - cannot read d) Access to Films from Block Films on 3 topics Films on 2 topics Film on 1 topic No f i l m seen Total Respondents 61 14 29 13 4 83 15 35 56 53 31 38 211 39 4 30 18 56 58 246 46 63 25 29 17 7 100 19 14 7 9 6 7 41 7 8 12 13 . 5 5 34 6 15 56 49 72 83 365 67 47 11 27 11 4 68 12 14 9 13 5 2 31 6 0 1 0 1 2 8 1 25 47 31 25 12 116 21 14 32 29 58 80 317 60 46 41 45 20 20 143 27 21 18 15 28 22 121 22 25 20 20 29 33 154 29 8 21 20 23 25 122 22 51 56 45 144 244 540 130 claimed there was no radio to which they could listen within the village. These include over one-half of middle and lower castes, and almost one-third of r i v a l factions. Among the leading Proudhans' supporters this f a l l s to four percent or only two respondents. Public radios supplied through the Block, are intended to f a c i l i t a t e clubs where villagers could meet regularly to listen to radio broadcasts. As indicated above, these radios have come to be regarded as the private property of Proudhans. Few villagers enjoy access to them apart from close associates of the Proudhans. The further c r i t i c a l question concerns exposure to specific radio broadcasts which are relevant for the development programmes. Respondents were asked to estimate how regularly they listened to scheduled programmes on agricultural extension, and whether they could l i s t some of the major topics raised during the preceding few months. Data on access to these broadcasts are shown in the preceding Table XII (b). Only nineteen percent of a l l respondents claimed to listen frequently, that is about once a week or so, and could cite some topics raised. A further thirteen percent heard such programmes occasionally, but only one-half of these could l i s t any topics covered. The Proudhans' supporters are clearly advantaged in this respect. Three-quarters of these respondents knew details of programme content, most of them listening on a regular basis. It i s these respondents who are most likely to own private radios and who also have ready access to the clubs. Those villagers who only have access to radios which belong to other people are particularly disadvantaged. They usually cannot listen regularly and cannot select the programmes they wish to 131 hear. Most admitted that they l i s t e n e d almost s o l e l y to popular music programmes. They are u n l i k e l y to hear any educational broadcasts which are not car r i e d on the same band as popular music. Less than one-sixth of respondents who l i s t e n e d only to radios which belonged to other people could c i t e any topics raised i n scheduled broadcasts on a g r i c u l t u r e . Only those v i l l a g e r s who personally own a radio, or who are i n v i t e d as regular members of the radio club, appear to benefit to any s i g n i f i c a n t extent from educational programmes. These two avenues f or d i r e c t access remain the prerogative la r g e l y of members of the upper stratum and the Proudhans' close supporters. In these v i l l a g e s , radio c l e a r l y does not function as a s o c i a l l e v e l l e r i n transmission of information. Access to information through l i t e r a t u r e requires l i t e r a c y , or a person who w i l l act as a reader f o r those who cannot read. I t also requires access to relevant materials to read. In the v i l l a g e s each of requirements i s r e s t r i c t e d . Only f o r t y percent of respondents were l i t e r a t e . These are concentrated among v i l l a g e leaders and higher castes. Among those who are l i t e r a t e i t i s again the Proudhans' supporters and neutral higher castes who enjoy favoured access to relevant materials. Most of the relevant l i t e r a t u r e i s made available through the Blocks. I t i s d i s t r i b u t e d through v i l l a g e clubs. As with radios, t h i s l i t e r a t u r e has come to be regarded as the priv a t e property of club leaders. I t i s d i s t r i b u t e d to others only with reluctance. One such leader proudly displayed h i s c o l l e c t i o n of several months' supply of both radio and youth club magazines. They were unblemished and many of the pages had not been separated. These magazines had 132 c l e a r l y not been handled or read by anyone. The Table XII (c) above shows the proportion of v i l l a g e r s who had read any l i t e r a t u r e on ag r i c u l t u r e . These proportions decline progressively from the favoured Proudhans 1 supporters and neutral higher castes, to r i v a l supporters, and l a s t l y to lower castes. Among the Proudhans' supporters sixty-one percent had read at l e a s t one piece of l i t e r a t u r e . Among lower castes t h i s drops to four percent. Of especial s i g n i f i c a n c e here i s the fac t that one-half of a l l l i t e r a t e respondents had not read any materials from the Block. This proportion i s e s p e c i a l l y high among r i v a l f a c t i o n supporters. This indicates that l i t e r a c y i s not a s u f f i c i e n t determinant of access to information through written materials. The r e s t r i c t e d d i s t r i b u t i o n of relevant materials from the Block functions as a s i g n i f i c a n t a d d i t i o n a l b a r r i e r to communication with v i l l a g e r s . As many as o n e - f i f t h of a l l respondents were p o t e n t i a l l y capable of u t i l i z i n g l i t e r a t u r e but have received nothing to read. They are not members of the exclusive youth clubs and radio clubs through which such materials are d i s t r i b u t e d . Films are usually shown free of charge i n a pu b l i c square. Anyone may j o i n the audience. A f i l m show i s s t i l l a s u f f i c i e n t l y un-usual event for almost a l l v i l l a g e r s to want to see i t , i r r e s p e c t i v e of subject-matter. The main r e s t r i c t i o n on access i s knowledge of a pending show i n time to get there. Again, the Proudhans are the f i r s t to be informed. Such news spreads r a p i d l y among t h e i r own regular associates but only i n a hapazard manner to other v i l l a g e r s . This i s the main reason why only o n e - f i f t h of the middle and low castes, com-pared with almost h a l f of the higher castes, have seen films on a l l 133 three topics of ag r i c u l t u r e , malaria control, and family planning. A further q u a l i f i c a t i o n to these observations i s that r e l a t i v e ease of access to f i l m shows applies only to male v i l l a g e r s . Very few v i l l a g e women ever attend these shows. The majority are s t i l l i n h i b i t e d by custom and s o c i a l sanctions of r i d i c u l e and gossip from appearing i n mixed gatherings i n p u b l i c . Such p r o h i b i t i o n s are p a r t i c u l a r l y strong against women of higher caste. Films are thus u n l i k e l y to spread i n -formation to v i l l a g e women, unless presented i n secluded clubs and all-female gatherings. An a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r i n reception of information from films i s having a good vantage point. This i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important i n view of the outdoor l o c a t i o n and usually weak soundtrack. As i n a l l p u b l i c meetings i n the v i l l a g e s , t h e caste hierarchy i s d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t e d i n p r e f e r e n t i a l p o s i t i o n i n g i n the audience. Lower castes usually have the worst viewing p o s i t i o n s . No attempt was made i n t h i s study to evaluate the amount of information learned from f i l m s . However, t h e i r infrequency and short duration suggest that t h e i r u t i l i t y w i l l be lim i t e d , at l e a s t i n the absence of a context for subsequent discussion and debate such as the clubs might provide. Outside Contacts The importance of contacts outside the v i l l a g e can be deter-mined only by t h e i r relevance as informants on development projects and not simply by t h e i r enumeration. A l l v i l l a g e r s are l i k e l y to have some acquaintances outside t h e i r home v i l l a g e . They have many oppor-t u n i t i e s f o r meeting them, as i n l o c a l markets, f a i r s , or family 134 Table XIII. First-Hand Communication With Informants Outside the Village by Faction and Caste Faction and Caste Frequency & U t i l i t y of Contacts Pr. Riv. High Mid. Low. Total No. % Frequent - useful 14 5 20 3 3 31 6 Occasional - useful 29 7 11 15 8 66 12 Rare or not useful 17 13 9 11 10 60 11 No contacts 40 75 60 71 79 383 71 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 1 3 5 gatherings. Dramatic news items may w e l l t r a v e l r a p i d l y through such contacts. However, d e t a i l e d debate on development programmes i s not necessarily, or even commonly, the subject matter of such conversations. In a l l , only one-third of a l l respondents r e c a l l e d ever having discussed such topics with anyone outside the v i l l a g e , and only s i x percent more than once or twice. Close to h a l f d i d not f i n d them useful i n the sense of learning anything new. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t i s the v i l l a g e leaders and fellow higher castes who dominate t h i s s i x percent who claimed frequent and useful discussions on development programmes with contacts outside the v i l l a g e . I t i s these people who are most l i k e l y to meet important l o c a l figures and v i s i t i n g o f f i c i a l s who may be good i n f o r -mants. For the most part, however, the people who are contacted outside the v i l l a g e are l i k e l y to be of roughly s i m i l a r s o c i a l p o s i t i o n to the v i l l a g e r himself, and hence they are l i k e l y to experience s i m i l a r l y r e s t r i c t e d access to f i r s t - h a n d communication. Casual contacts are thus u n l i k e l y to provide an e f f i c i e n t channel f o r spreading a d d i t i o n a l information on development programmes to the majority of v i l l a g e r s . One important exception to t h i s pattern proved to be seed merchants, the only s i g n i f i c a n t external source of information mentioned by the v i l l a g e r s . In the fourth v i l l a g e the l o c a l r e t a i l store i s owned and operated by a wealthy family from that v i l l a g e . The owner proved to be a valuable informant for many v i l l a g e r s , r i v a l l i n g Block o f f i c i a l s themselves. He was strongly motivated to advertize the newer seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s which he sold i n h i s store. He also had regular business contacts with seed producers and d i s t r i b u t o r s from experimental farms and they provided him with d e t a i l e d information on 136 the latest developments. This store owner may well be the single most important factor which accounts for the increased levels of knowledge of improved seeds and newer f e r t i l i z e r s in this village, relative to the others. In summary, the above data strongly support the f i r s t hypothesis. Where particular individuals exercise control over first-hand communication they have clearly encouraged the access of close faction associates and those of similar caste rank over other sectors of the communities. The anomalous position of r i v a l factions among the higher castes suggests that status disparity within a community is more decisive than membership in r i v a l factions in restricting propensity for association. In every case where village leaders have been made responsible for organizing meetings, clubs, or arranging the distribution of mass media f a c i l i t i e s , they have given preference to their own faction associates and fellow higher castes. The public meetings have taken on the character of private clubs for the organizers, and the same is true for the public radio, and literature supplied through the Block, and to some extent even film shows. Block personnel on their part have done l i t t l e to alter this. Their v i s i t s are confined to the wealthy higher caste sectors, almost totally neglecting the lower caste residential areas. Meetings with the latter are neither actively sought nor welcomed. In summary, the multiple channels for first-hand communication between Block o f f i c i a l s and villagers a l l reflect and reinforce the same pattern of restricted access. The lines of association through which such communication is directed a l l occur primarily within, rather than across, the hierarchy of caste rank. The close faction supporters 137 of v i l l a g e leaders and fellow higher castes have p r e f e r e n t i a l access to a l l means of communication. The remainder of the communities must r e l y on more haphazard and i n d i r e c t communication at second and t h i r d hand through these intermediaries. Landholding and Access The further question b r i e f l y examined here i s the r e l a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e of landholding as a determinant of p r e f e r e n t i a l access to communication, r e l a t i v e to f a c t i o n and caste a f f i l i a t i o n c o n s i d e r e d above. In t h i s study, v i l l a g e Proudhans are a l l r e l a t i v e l y large landowners drawn from l o c a l l y higher castes. Their favoured associates may thus r e f l e c t e i t h e r of these dimensions. The independent s i g n i f i -cance of landholding i s d i f f i c u l t to assess because of the high o v e r a l l c o r r e l a t i o n between t h i s and other dimensions of caste rank and f a c t i o n a f f i l i a t i o n . This i s indicated i n Table XIV. Among middle and low castes the proportion of large landowners i s n e g l i g i b l e . They comprise only four respondents, or scarcely one percent of the t o t a l . The large minority of both categories have below subsistence holdings. Among neutral higher castes f i v e respondents, eleven percent of the t o t a l , rank as large landowners. Only among the Proudhans' supporters and r i v a l factions i s there a more even d i s t r i b u t i o n . Roughly one-third of these respondents rank as large farmers with the majority having middle sized holdings. C e l l sizes are too small to permit a meaningful breakdown along the further dimension of education. Level of education i s i t s e l f c l o s e l y correlated with both caste rank and size of landholding. 138 Table XIV. Correlation Between Landholding and Faction and Caste Divisions Landholding Number of Respondents by Faction and Caste P R H M L 0-2 acres 10 11 19 93 191 3-8 acres 24 28 21 50 50 9+ acres 17 17 5 1 3 Table XV. Access to First-Hand Communication by Faction and Caste d i v i s i o n s , c o n t r o l l i n g landholding Communication Channels Faction and Caste Total by Landholding P R H M L No. % % % % % %. a) Frequent Talks with O f f i c i a l s 0-2 acres 60 9 21 6 3 24 7 3-8 acres 32 7 48 20 10 36 21 9+ acres• 88 23 60* _* 33* 23 54 b) Attend Youth Club 0-2 acres 70 27 42 17 15 62 19 3-8 acres 75 32 67 32 28 70 40 9+ acres 83 53 40* 100* 33* 27 63 c ) . A l l Panchayat Meetings 0-2 acres 40 9 16 9 8 33 10 3-8 acres 45 7 24 26 16 39 22 9+ acres 43 12 40* _* 33* 13 30 * C e l l s i z e of 5 persons or l e s s . Too small for s i g n i f i c a n t per-cent d i s t r i b u t i o n . Key: P = Proudhans 1 supporters R = Rival f a c t i o n supporters H = Neutral higher castes M = Neutral middle castes L = Neutral lower castes 139 Table XV indicates access to three important sources of communication with Block o f f i c i a l s by these f a c t i o n and caste d i v i s i o n s , while c o n t r o l l i n g the va r i a b l e of landholding. The three media examined are frequent t a l k s with o f f i c i a l s , attendance of youth clubs and of panchayat meetings. A l l are subject to some control by v i l l a g e leaders who arrange such meetings. As an i n i t i a l observation, the marginal t o t a l s f o r each medium of communication suggest there i s a strong r e l a t i o n s h i p between landholding and access. In each marginal t o t a l the larger landholders have con s i s t e n t l y greater access than do middle sized farmers. Those with below subsistence holdings are le a s t l i k e l y to enjoy such access. This association, however, does NOT hold across f a c t i o n and caste d i v i s i o n s within the v i l l a g e communities. Respondents with s i m i l a r landholdings do NOT experience comparable access to communication channels. Wherever c e l l sizes permit a r e a l i s t i c comparison, the f a m i l i a r pattern of p r i v i l e g e d access by fac t i o n and caste obtains. The Proudhans' supporters, and next to them the neutral higher castes, are con s i s t e n t l y more l i k e l y to have access to each medium of communication than do r i v a l s and lower castes with equivalent rank as landowners. There i s a tendency for access to increase as landholdings increase within f a c t i o n and caste d i v i s i o n s but t h i s influence i s not strong. I t does not hold con-s i s t e n t l y among the Proudhans' supporters. Access remains high even among the poorest respondents i n t h i s sector. The association also does not hold c o n s i s t e n t l y for neutral higher castes i n the case of youth clubs. Faction a f f i l i a t i o n appears to counterbalance large differences i n landholding. 140 This suggests that landholding as a dimension of cla s s p o s i t i o n i s not the primary determinant of access to communication channels within v i l l a g e communities. I t s influence i s secondary to fa c t i o n t i e s and s i m i l a r i t y of caste p o s i t i o n to that of v i l l a g e leaders. This conclusion needs to be q u a l i f i e d i n view of the f a c t that there are so few large landowners among middle and low castes. None have holdings comparable to v i l l a g e leaders. I t i s not possible to estimate the p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e which any generalized increase i n wealth might have i n overcoming s o c i a l r e s t r i c t i o n s placed on lower castes. The data do suggest that t h e i r removal may depend on p r i o r changes i n patterns of leadership within the v i l l a g e communities. D i f f u s i o n of Information The second issue examined below concerns determinants of d i f f u s i o n of information within a community. The t h e o r e t i c a l assumption which p a r a l l e l s the above hypothesis i s that the p o s i t i o n of key intermediaries i n information flow r e l a t i v e to the hierarchy of status within a community w i l l constitute a c r i t i c a l determinant of the pattern of further d i f f u s i o n of information, i n that: 2) Where p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l s function as intermediaries i n the d i f f u s i o n of information within a community, they w i l l disseminate information p r i m a r i l y to close associates and status equals, over other sectors of the community. The f i r s t part of t h i s chapter indicates that within the f i v e v i l l a g e s the Proudhans, t h e i r close associates, and fellow higher castes, have the highest access to a l l means of f i r s t - h a n d communication with Block 141 o f f i c i a l s . Hence, they are i n a p o s i t i o n to act as key intermediaries i n the further dissemination of information on development projects to a l l other v i l l a g e r s . Those who lack such f i r s t - h a n d access to communication are dependent on d i f f u s i o n of information through these intermediaries for any d e t a i l e d knowledge beyond what can be observed at a distance. I t i s thus predicted that the maximum transmission of information w i l l occur among these same v i l l a g e s , mediated to some extent by s i m i l a r i t y of cla s s p o s i t i o n . D i f f u s i o n to a l l other sectors of the v i l l a g e communities w i l l be r e s t r i c t e d and haphazard. This p r e d i c t i o n c l e a r l y c o n f l i c t s with the assumptions which underly the strategy of focusing attention on progressive farmers or 'opinion leaders' within the v i l l a g e s . This strategy assumes that when a prominent sector of a community i s well informed on development programmes t h i s w i l l s t e a d i l y d i f f u s e downwards and outwards to members of a l l other s t r a t a . This approach again implies a theory of v e r t i c a l association, while the present theory implies h o r i z o n t a l association occurring within caste and cla s s s t r a t a rather than across them. It i s important to stress here that the above hypothesis i s not concerned with enumeration of contacts and i n t e r a c t i o n between s t r a t a . The c r i t i c a l issue i s the extent to which i n t e r a c t i o n provides a context for the regular exchange of d e t a i l e d knowledge, experiences, and advice, which are relevant f o r development pr o j e c t s . Dramatic news items may well t r a v e l through casual contacts, and t h i s i s i n -va r i a b l y the kind of news items favoured i n studies of opinion leadership and mass media impact. But understanding of development 142 projects e n t a i l s far more comprehensive transmission of knowledge than do f l a s h news items. Detailed knowledge of the advantages claimed for d i f f e r e n t projects, modes of a p p l i c a t i o n or u t i l i z a t i o n , the necessity for combined usage to increase y i e l d p o t e n t i a l , or to promote better health, are e s s e n t i a l p r e r e q u i s i t e s for reasoned choice i n response to these development projects."*" This requires systematic and extensive d i f f u s i o n of information to a l l v i l l a g e r s . Casual observation and hearsay are not adequate for such transmission, and neither are infrequent chats or passing reference to these topics i n the midst of other concerns. I t i s proposed that extensive contacts of the kind which w i l l encourage in-depth exchange of knowledge w i l l be confined p r i m a r i l y to close associates and status equals within a community, rather than across these s t r a t a . The data summarized i n Table XVI, indicate the proportion of respondents within each f a c t i o n and caste sector of the v i l l a g e communities who were informed on a l l d i f f e r e n t aspects of the develop-ment programmes. These include projects i n a g r i c u l t u r e , n u t r i t i o n , s a n i t a t i o n , and family planning, and also knowledge of grants and amenities provided through the Blocks, and v i l l a g e clubs. The means, or average proportion of informed respondents, are indicated for each major aspect of the Block a c t i v i t i e s with an o v e r a l l mean for a l l a c t i v i t i e s together. The Table indicates that general knowledge of the programmes A d e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n of each new project, and the p r a c t i c a l interdependence between them, i s given i n Chapter Four "Choice A l t e r n a t i v e s i n Rural Development". Table XVI. Summary of Average Knowledge of Development Projects by Faction and Caste Aspect of Programme Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total Agriculture 73 58 63 50 48 53 Nu t r i t i o n 57 30 41 30 20 29 Sanitation 71 55 54 42 41 47 Family Planning 81 58 67 55 49 55 Grants and Credit 60 49 50 38 37 43 V i l l a g e Clubs 73 47 60 40 28 40 Overall Programme 69 50 57 43 39 40 Total Farmers 48 49 43 118 187 445 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 Average for ag r i c u l t u r e i s based only on number of farmers. In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged percent of respondents who knew about each of the-' projects included i n d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes. For f u l l - l e n g t h table i n which frequency of knowledge for each project i s l i s t e d separately, see appendix, Table XLV. A t r a n s l a t i o n of the questionnaire i s given i n the appendix. This table i s derived from responses to questions 5, 14-35, and 89-91, i n the schedule. 144 i s very r e s t r i c t e d . On the average, only f o r t y percent of a l l v i l l a g e r s were informed about s p e c i f i c Block a c t i v i t i e s . This average does not d i f f e r widely over various aspects of the programmes. Some of the best known projects are those included i n a g r i c u l t u r a l extension. This was accorded p r i o r i t y attention by Block o f f i c i a l s . But even here information has been slow to d i f f u s e on newer projects such as improved seeds and s p e c i a l i z e d p e s t i c i d e s . Knowledge of the n u t r i t i o n programmes may appear a r t i f i c a l l y low because only male respondents were questioned while the programme i t s e l f was di r e c t e d towards women. To a large extent, however, i t i s male v i l l a g e leaders and heads of households who are instrumental i n informing women in the family of classes which are to be arranged, and who agree to t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The table indicates secondly, that there are pronounced d i s p a r i t i e s i n the proportion of informed respondents across f a c t i o n and caste sectors of the communities. This pattern i s c l o s e l y con-s i s t e n t with the p r e d i c t i o n of s e l e c t i v e contact and d i f f u s i o n of information. I t r e f l e c t s the pattern of p r e f e r e n t i a l access to fir s t - h a n d communication. The Proudhans' supporters are c l e a r l y advantaged i n the d i f f u s i o n of information. This sector has the highest proportion of informed respondents for each major aspect of the programmes. On the average, sixty-nine percent of these re-spondents were informed on Block a c t i v i t i e s compared to the average for a l l respondents of for t y percent. This advantage holds for a l l but two of the s p e c i f i c p rojects measured. Next to them, the neutral higher castes are most l i k e l y to be informed. This sector of :. 145 respondents appear to have r e l a t i v e l y easier access to information d i f f u s i o n from leaders than do middle and lower caste respondents. These l a t t e r respondents were most l i k e l y to be excluded from d i r e c t communication channels with the Block, and d i f f u s i o n of information has been slowest to reach them. Low caste respondents were l e a s t l i k e l y to be informed on any aspect of the programmes, and by a f a i r l y wide margin. Some deviation from the predicted pattern occurs only with respect to r i v a l f a c t i o n s . They have l i m i t e d access to d i r e c t communication channels r e l a t i v e to other higher castes, and i t was expected that they would be less l i k e l y to receive information. This does hold true for the o v e r a l l mean or average of informed respondents, but i s not consistent over i n d i v i d u a l p r o j e c t s . For seven of the projects and also for knowledge of house r e p a i r grants and a i d f a c i l i t i e s , they appear to be better informed than neutral higher castes. In some cases they are as well informed as respondents among the Proudhans 1 supporters. These deviations from the predicted pattern occur mostly with the better-known projects such as top dressing f e r t i l i z e r s , new s t y l e ploughs, l i n e sowing, l a t r i n e s , and s t e r i l i z a t i o n . A possible explanation for t h i s discrepancy may l i e i n the greater i n t e r n a l cohesion of r i v a l factions compared to other sectors of the communities. Apart from the Proudhans 1 supporters, they are the only category of respondents who comprise recognized groups within the v i l l a g e s . This cohesion may encourage information to spread more r e a d i l y among f a c t i o n members. They remain handicapped with respect to knowledge of more recent innovations which i s slower 146 to reach them than other higher castes. It i s d i f f i c u l t to assess the f u l l s i g n i f i c a n c e of propor-t i o n a l differences i n knowledge i n the absence of a more c a r e f u l l y c o n t r o l l e d l o n g i t u d i n a l study of information flow over time. A number of projects such as high y i e l d seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s , have been av a i l a b l e i n the region for a decade or longer. Other projects such as new ploughs and l i n e sowing are r e a d i l y observable. In both cases proportional differences i n knowledge may be expected to decline over time. The measurement of information received i s also confined to the most basic l e v e l of knowledge of the existence of s p e c i f i c p rojects. Precise measurement of d e t a i l e d information was not possible. These three f a c t o r s , the time span involved, the o b s e r v a b i l i t y of many projects, and the simple measurement of knowledge used, are a l l l i k e l y to reduce the proportion of respondents who appear to be ignorant at the time of study. In view of these q u a l i -f i c a t i o n s , the high proportion who i n f a c t claimed ignorance i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . I t i s a strong i n d i c a t i o n of the extreme i n -e f f i c i e n c y of information d i f f u s i o n within the v i l l a g e s , and the c r i t i c a l b a r r i e r to innovation which t h i s represents. The further implications of l i m i t e d information i n r e s t r i c t i n g readiness to adopt even such new proposals as are known, w i l l be examined i n the following chapter. In conclusion, d i f f u s i o n of information as a systematic process from 'progressive farmers' or 'opinion leaders' to other sectors of v i l l a g e communities c l e a r l y does not happen. Information at the most basic l e v e l of knowing the names or existence of d i f f e r e n t 147 s p e c i f i c projects i s r e s t r i c t e d to a minority of respondents. By implication, d e t a i l e d knowledge of these projects and t h e i r s p e c i a l advantages for p r o d u c t i v i t y or health and t h e i r i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s are even more r e s t r i c t e d . Information reaches the majority of v i l l a g e r s only i n a haphazard and incomplete form, and only a f t e r a pronounced time-lag of several years following t h e i r knowledge among v i l l a g e leaders. Some d i f f u s i o n of information across s t r a t a does occur over time, but occasional contacts, b r i e f discussions or b i t s of advice, and casual observation of some of the pr a c t i c e s followed by more knowledgeable farmers, i s c l e a r l y not e f f i c i e n t . It does not provide an e f f e c t i v e means for transmission of information i n s u f f i c -i e n t d e t a i l to constitute an adequate basis for choice for the majority of v i l l a g e r s . The a l t e r n a t i v e s f o r choice presented to those who do not rank as status equals with p r i v i l e g e d leaders are both quanti-t a t i v e l y and q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t . Many altern a t i v e s are not raised at a l l but remain unknown to them. In other cases, alterna-tives are known but d e t a i l e d advantages for production or health are unknown, as are methods of ap p l i c a t i o n and u t i l i z a t i o n of such pro j e c t s . The scope of a l t e r n a t i v e s presented f o r choice at t h i s f i r s t stage of the decision process i s quite d i f f e r e n t . Content of Information Transmitted This l a s t part of the analysis of information flow i s con-cerned with s e l e c t i v e or biased transmission, and the e f f e c t of t h i s on the choice parameters of those who receive information only at second and third-hand. The main assumption here i s that, i n addition 148 to preferred contacts, the actual content of information transmitted w i l l be influenced by the a f f i l i a t i o n of key intermediaries, such that: 3) Intermediaries i n the d i f f u s i o n of information w i l l encourage the transmission of any information seen as supporting the objectives of close associates, and w i l l obstruct the transmission of information seen as opposed to such objectives. Biased transmission and retention of information i s well documented i n studies of information d i f f u s i o n . I t r e f l e c t s s e l e c t i v e attention, and also i n t e n t i o n a l s e l e c t i v e emphasis and omission by informants and intermediaries. Certain types of information are l i k e l y to be stressed while negatively evaluated information may be suppressed or omitted altogether i n the r e - t e l l i n g . In t h i s case, i t i s Block o f f i c i a l s and v i l l a g e e l i t e s who are c r i t i c a l intermediaries i n the transmission of a l l information on development programmes to other v i l l a g e r s . Hence i t i s predicted that the objectives of that sector of the communities with which they are c l o s e l y a f f i l i a t e d w i l l l a r g e l y determine the content of information which they make known to other v i l l a g e r s . The emphasis on progressive farmers, or the educated e l i t e s as opinion leaders for others generally f a i l s to take account of t h i s p o t e n t i a l bias i n further d i f f u s i o n of information through them. Some aspects of the development programmes are designed to a l t e r the r e l a t i v e p o s i t i o n of lower s t r a t a compared to wealthy e l i t e s . They may also e n t a i l competition for l i m i t e d investment resources. Under such circumstances 149 t h i s bias i n transmission can become c r i t i c a l l y important. Only a cursory analysis can be attempted i n t h i s study, in the absence of systematic and d e t a i l e d data on o r i e n t a t i o n and con-tent of information disseminated from key informants. But i t i s s u f f i c i e n t to i l l u s t r a t e the impact of such d i s t o r t i o n s on the range of information, and hence the boundaries of choice open to other v i l l a g e r s . The p a r t i c u l a r preferences and biases of the Block o f f i c i a l s are apparent i n the pronounced d i f f e r e n t i a l i n amount of information transmitted by them on d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, even to close associates. A g r i c u l t u r a l projects received major emphasis, and t h i s i s r e f l e c t e d i n the extensive information which was received concerning them, p a r t i c u l a r l y among higher status v i l l a g e r s . Other aspects of the programmes such as n u t r i t i o n and s a n i t a t i o n received s i g n i f i c a n t l y l e s s attention. The l i m i t e d emphasis on programmes to increase consumption of eggs r e f l e c t s , i n part, the disapproval of vegetarian o f f i c i a l s . They were reluctant to be seen as promoting the programme l e s t i t r e f l e c t adversely on t h e i r caste status i n the eyes of other v i l l a g e r s . Some Block o f f i c i a l s displayed s i m i l a r reluctance to promote l a t r i n e s . They indicated that t h e i r own preference was to use open f i e l d s . C l e a r l y , when o f f i c i a l s themselves disapprove of, or d i s l i k e a new proposal, they are u n l i k e l y to promote information on i t i n the v i l l a g e s where they work. In t h i s p a r t i c u l a r case only one-quarter of a l l v i l l a g e r s could even guess at the supposed advantages of using closed l a t r i n e s . Further information d i s t o r t i o n arose not from p o l i c y or 150 s e l e c t i v e i n t e r e s t s of o f f i c i a l s , but from the v i l l a g e leaders and t h e i r associates who are the primary intermediaries i n a l l informa-t i o n transmission to other v i l l a g e r s . Their perspectives and biases are those of wealthy higher caste farmers, and t h i s i s r e f l e c t e d i n the content of information disseminated, and more importantly , i n the information withheld from others. f The most obvious example of obstructed information came with respect to proposals to e s t a b l i s h clubs i n the v i l l a g e s . The very r e s t r i c t e d knowledge of such clubs i n a l l v i l l a g e s i s attested to above, but ignorance was p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced i n the fourth v i l l a g e where no clubs operated at the time of the study and where the radio and women's clubs have never functioned. Both were pro-posed i n t h i s v i l l a g e by Block o f f i c i a l s but rejected by the leaders. The Proudhan received a free radio but kept i t as h i s private property. Not only were other v i l l a g e r s not i n v i t e d to form such a club, -they remained i n t o t a l ignorance of the f a c t that a p u b l i c radio had ever been given. They were thus i n no p o s i t i o n to pressure the Proudhan to make i t a v a i l a b l e for them. Similar ignorance surrounds the proposed women's club. This same Proudhan and close associates rejected the proposal since i t would v i o l a t e the customary seclusion of higher caste women. Information on the proposed club went no further, and the vast majority of v i l l a g e r s and v i l l a g e women i n p a r t i c u l a r remained ignorant even of the p o s s i b i l i t y that such a club might be started. There are many other examples of c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s and consequent omission of information e s p e c i a l l y over d i s t r i b u t i o n of 151 funds. One such scheme mentioned above i s for egg production. Many v i l l a g e leaders were interested i n the poultry farm project because of the generous subsidies a v a i l a b l e . They had l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n spreading information on the requirement that one-third of a l l eggs produced be d i s t r i b u t e d free within the v i l l a g e , since t h i s would necessarily detract from the p r o f i t a b i l i t y of the enterprise. Only eleven percent of a l l respondents showed even vague knowledge of t h i s p rovision. These were confined mainly to r e c i p i e n t s of the grants, and v i l l a g e r s i n the f i f t h v i l l a g e . A few persons r e c a l l e d that eggs had once been given free i n the school as a 'promotion gimmick' by the Proudhan. Almost no-one knew of t h e i r r i g h t to such eggs. Competition for grants and c r e d i t f a c i l i t i e s forms a further area where the i n t e r e s t s of the v i l l a g e leaders c o n f l i c t e d with that of spreading d e t a i l e d information. The more l i m i t e d the numbers who know of such f a c i l i t i e s , or of how to apply for them, the more limi t e d the competition for such benefits w i l l be. Measurement i s d i f f i c u l t i n t h i s case since many v i l l a g e r s know of the proposed grants only a f t e r the f a c t of t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n , when i t i s too l a t e to apply. This was true with respect to grants for house r e p a i r s . At l e a s t one-half of the v i l l a g e r s knew that such grants were a v a i l -able but often lacked any d e t a i l e d information on how much, or who i s e l i g i b l e , or how to apply. The r e s u l t i s that great d i s c r e t i o n a r y powers f a l l into the hands of the Proudhans both to nominate r e c i p -ients and to determine the amounts d i s t r i b u t e d . I f a l l were f u l l y aware of t h e i r e l i g i b i l i t y and the appropriate amount of such grants t h i s leeway would disappear. The same i s especially true with respect 152 to special-purpose grants such as those available for modernization of wells, taccavi loans for investment i n a g r i c u l t u r a l equipment, 2 and s p e c i a l Harijan a i d funds. The p r e v a i l i n g l e v e l s of ignorance of a i d schemes i s such that the Proudhans who know of and administer the schemes have considerable discretionary powers over d i s t r i b u t i o n and expropriation of the funds, and have considerable vested i n t e r e s t s i n r e t a i n i n g t h i s . A p a r t i c u l a r example of such c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s occurred i n the t h i r d v i l l a g e , where a s p e c i a l grant was made available to promote c r a f t cooperatives, with the inten t i o n of providing supple-mentary employment for the landless labourers. The p o t e n t i a l threat to supplies of cheap labour f o r large farmers, and t h e i r consequent opposition to the scheme was openly c i t e d by the acting Proudhan. As a r e s u l t the funds were invested outside the v i l l a g e with i n t e r e s t accruing to the panchayat. No-one outside the Proudhan's close associates knew that such money was ava i l a b l e or what was done with i t , l e a s t of a l l the labourers f o r whom i t was intended. I t was generally true that v i l l a g e r s were unaware of grants made ava i l a b l e for v i l l a g e amenities or of panchayat funds, u n t i l a f t e r they had been spent. I t was rumoured i n several v i l l a g e s that the panchayat had sold trees, f i s h , or other v i l l a g e property to rai s e funds, but few knew either how much money was rai s e d or what was done with i t . P r e v a i l i n g ignorance of many aid schemes was such that t h e i r a v a i l -a b i l i t y only became known to the researcher i n d i r e c t l y . Most re-spondents were unable to fur n i s h t h i s information. Most of the 'Harijan' i s a term applied to Untouchables, or scheduled castes, who are at the bottom of the r i t u a l caste hierarchy. 153 evidence of omission of information i s i n negative form; a l l re-spondents were asked to l i s t whatever grants aid and other f a c i l i t i e s were av a i l a b l e from the Block, following general questions on the range of projects included. Only a very small minority could r e a d i l y l i s t such schemes. They are c l e a r l y not common knowledge. It i s hard to d e t a i l the evidence for such p r a c t i c e s , par-t i c u l a r l y since the v i l l a g e leaders are no less reluctant to pass on information to a researcher than to others. One such example occurred with respect to the women's club i n the fourth v i l l a g e . The v i l l a g e leader commented that women i n h i s family had gone to n u t r i t i o n t r a i n i n g classes and to a club at one time, but that they no longer operated. A few of h i s associates passed s i m i l a r comments when they were interviewed a few days l a t e r . Problems with t h i s response became evident l a t e r when i t was inconsistent with the t o t a l ignorance of the club or meetings displayed by other respondents. I t became apparent that no such meetings had been held i n the v i l l a g e . The Proudhan subsequently acknowledged that he had not wanted to discuss his decision to oppose the formation of the club, l e s t i t meet with my disapproval. In other instances v i l l a g e leaders would exaggerate a c t i v i t i e s they had undertaken while i n o f f i c e , and the amount of funds or benefits which they had d i s t r i b u t e d , while omitting any discussion of misappropriation. These d i s t o r t i o n s i n information flow from them only became evident because there was more than one relevant informant i n these instances. The implications of biased information flow for the development programmes are far-reaching. V i l l a g e leaders may be important opinion 154 leaders i n the v i l l a g e s but they cannot be r e l i e d upon to disseminate accurate or d e t a i l e d information on a l l aspects of the programmes. They are u n l i k e l y to spread information on proposals which are of no concern to t h e i r own associates. They are even less l i k e l y to spread information on proposals which c o n f l i c t with t h e i r own objectives. When Block o f f i c i a l s r e l y on them to transmit information within the communities/ t h i s introduces c r i t i c a l biases into the amount and content of such information l i k e l y to reach others. Conclusion: Ignorance and Non-Adoption Knowledge of new a l t e r n a t i v e s i s a necessary condition for t h e i r choice. Those who lack information on development projects are necessarily barred from t h e i r adoption. Table XVII indicates the averaged proportion of non-adoption of projects r e l a t i n g to d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, which can be accounted for by lack of i n -formation. Sectors of the v i l l a g e d i f f e r with respect to the number of respondents who were uninformed, and also with respect to the number who d i d not adopt s p e c i f i c new proposals. The table indicates the r a t i o between these two f i g u r e s . These r a t i o s indicate that f a i l u r e to adopt development projects i s associated with t o t a l lack of information i n a very high proportion of cases. On the average, two-thirds of a l l instances of f a i l u r e to adopt new proposals can be accounted for d i r e c t l y by lack of basic information. This appears to be a c r i t i c a l factor i n non-adoption over a l l aspects of the programmes. The mean f a l l s only with respect to family planning p r a c t i c e s , re-f l e c t i n g an e s p e c i a l l y low rate of adoption among informed respondents. These data indicate that the f a i l u r e to disseminate information on 155 Table XVII. Summary of Ignorance as a Factor i n Non-adoption of projects by Faction and Caste Ignorance as Percent of Non-adoption Aspect of Programme Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total Agriculture 52 52 59 66 65 66 N u t r i t i o n 62 82 63 73 84 77 Sanitation 56 62 64 75 70 69 Family Planning 18 37 33 38 45 39 Grants and Credit 50 52 55 65 67 63 Overall Programme 48 54 56 64 65 63 n.b. The number of respondents who d i d not adopt new proposals, varies for each aspect of the programme, and for s p e c i f i c projects. For t h i s reason there i s no constant number of respondents on which these d i f f e r e n t percentages are based. The number of respondents who knew about each project, and the number who adopted i t , i s shown in the appendix, Table XLVI. In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. Per-cent figures indicate the averaged proportion of non-adoption of d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programme which can be accounted for by ignorance. For f u l l - l e n g t h table which shows ignorance as a propor-t i o n of non-adoption for each project separately, see appendix, Table XLVII. This table i s derived from responses to questions 5, 14-35, and 89-91, i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 156 development programmes i s a major determinant of low rates of inno-vation within the v i l l a g e communities. Subsequent questions concern the factors which may i n h i b i t adoption among those respondents who are informed about new projects. These questions are addressed i n the following two chapters on persuasion and f e a s i b i l i t y . CHAPTER SIX PERSUASION AND CHOICE ^Jzyr Appraisal of d i f f e r e n t a l t e r n a t i v e s for action which are known to a chooser/with respect to t h e i r a n ticipated consequences,constitutes th^ > second set of parameters bounding any choice s i t u a t i o n . Such "app frisal i s necessarily r e s t r i c t e d by uncertainty as to what these outcomes might be. This may a r i s e with respect to unforseen r a m i f i c a -tion s , and also with respect to the l i k e l i h o o d of anticipated conse-quences a c t u a l l y occurring. The problem of p r e d i c t i n g l i k e l y outcomes i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n r e l a t i o n to innovations or to actions which l i e outside previous experience. Here the chooser must r e l y heavily on information received from others as a basis for appraising proposals raised. The accuracy and v a l i d i t y of such information i s i t s e l f a c r i t i c a l aspect of the uncertainty surrounding new proposals. As indicated above, information disseminated may be both inaccurate and incomplete, and d i s t o r t e d i n the process of transmission. The theory of choice behaviour proposed here focuses on those s o c i a l factors which may influence a chooser's assessment of the q u a l i t y of information received, and the attention i t warrants as a basis for evaluating future choices. The following hypotheses are based on the general assumption that a chooser's perception of i n -formants w i l l determine his evaluation of the accuracy of information, the d i r e c t i o n of any bias or d i s t o r t i o n , and also the p r a c t i c a l i t y of proposals raised. This p a r a l l e l s the previous assumptions regarding 157 158 information transmission, - that an informant's p o s i t i o n within a community w i l l influence the d i r e c t i o n , amount and content of i n -formation transmitted. I t r e f l e c t s the same behaviour s t r a t e g i e s , but from the perspective of a r e c i p i e n t of information rather than an informant. The f i r s t two hypotheses concern a chooser's perception of the competence of immediate informants as advisors on the issues i n question. 4) When information on new proposals i s received through i n d i r e c t means, or from sources whose apparent compe-tence i s low, such information w i l l have l e s s persuasive impact i n promoting innovation than when received d i r e c t l y from competent sources. 5) When information received on new proposals i s fragmentary or vague, i t w i l l have les s persuasive impact i n promot-ing innovation than when information i s precise and de t a i l e d . The t h i r d hypothesis concerns a chooser's t r u s t i n the motives and in t e r e s t s associated with new proposals. 6) When information on new proposals i s i n i t i a t e d from sources associated with previous c o n f l i c t s , i t w i l l have less persuasive impact i n promoting innovation than when such c o n f l i c t s are absent. The f i n a l hypothesis concerns perception of the p r a c t i c a l i t y of new proposals by the r e c i p i e n t . 7) When new proposals are i n i t i a t e d among a wealthier stratum 159 of a community, they w i l l have less persuasive impact in promoting innovation among recipients of progressively lower relative economic position. Low appraisal of information received is expected to increase perceived uncertainties surrounding new proposals and hence restrict adoption, irrespective of the specific character of the proposals raised. A positive appraisal of information received is a necessary but not sufficient basis for subsequent adoption. The latter requires, in addition, both a preference for the intended outcome, and f e a s i b i l i t y , in the sense of access to necessary input f a c i l i t i e s . The objective here is to predict the conditions under which new proposals raised are least likely to be adopted. In a l l the tables in this chapter, respondents who appeared to be ignorant of specific proposals are omitted from any calculations of adoption rates. Proposals are grouped in relation to the five major aspects of the programmes concerned with agriculture, nutrition, sanitation, family planning and appli-cation for various development funds. Mean adoption rates are cal-culated for each apseet of the programme, and also for the overall programme. These means indicate the averaged proportion of respondents in each category who have adopted relevant proposals. Each project i s given equal weighting in these calculations. Full-length tables which indicate adoption rates for each project separately are given in the appendix. Adoption rates vary in two respects. Different sectors of the village communities vary in the extent to which they have adopted those projects known to them. Secondly, there is wide variation between 160 projects i n the frequency with which they have been adopted. These two dimensions r e f l e c t d i s t i n c t aspects of choices, - a generalized willingness to innovate, and preference ordering among proposals r a i s e d . They may vary independently although they are often con-fused i n choice analysis. Their separation requires a research con-text where many d i f f e r e n t innovations are presented to the same i n -div i d u a l s . Differences i n willingness to accept change are assumed to remain constant across v a r i a t i o n i n the popularity of s p e c i f i c proposals. The primary concern i n t h i s analysis i s with conditions of choice as they influence general readiness to respond to i n i t i a t i v e s from the Block. The r e l a t i v e preference shown for d i f f e r e n t projects w i l l be examined separately at the conclusion of t h i s chapter. Competence of Informants The f i r s t assumption examined here i s that information on new proposals i s most l i k e l y to be appraised as r e l i a b l e when i t i s received d i r e c t l y from informed sources. When either of these con-d i t i o n s i s absent, i . e . when informants do not appear to be competent, or when information i s received only i n d i r e c t l y at second and t h i r d hand, i t i s less l i k e l y to be trusted as a basis for p r e d i c t i n g the outcome of new proposals. The hypothesis derived from t h i s assumption i s that: 4) When information on new proposals i s received through i n d i r e c t means, or from sources whose apparent compe-tence i s low, i t w i l l have les s persuasive impact i n promoting innovation than when received d i r e c t l y from competent sources. 161 This hypothesis challenges the expediency of r e l y i n g on i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n of information from v i l l a g e leaders to promote development projects among the majority of v i l l a g e r s . The assertion here i s that i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n w i l l have a depressant e f f e c t on adoption of new proposals even where the content of information ultimately received i s comparable. Block o f f i c i a l s are the primary source of information for v i l l a g e r s on a l l aspects of the development programmes. The two key issues f or analysis are thus the apparent competence of these o f f i c i a l s i n the eyes of v i l l a g e r s , and the directness with which information • from them i s received. Respondents were asked to assess the compe-tence of l o c a l o f f i c i a l s with respect to t h e i r formal q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , education, and previous errors or f a i l u r e s . Their responses, summar-ized i n Table XVIII, f a l l into two main categories: a generally p o s i t i v e a p p r a i s a l , coupled with a high proportion of respondents who f e l t unable to answer the questions. Ninety percent of respon-dents who f e l t able to assess the o f f i c i a l s judged the l e v e l of educa-t i o n of these o f f i c i a l s as considerably higher than the average for the v i l l a g e . Seventy-one percent judged them as better informed on modern a g r i c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s . Only f i v e percent claimed to have received bad advice from o f f i c i a l s , and nine percent claimed to have received poor q u a l i t y a g r i c u l t u r a l supplies from them. These are the only responses l i k e l y to prompt a low appraisal of the competence of o f f i c i a l s . These responses, however,'must be balanced against the high proportion of respondents who f e l t unable to make any considered judgement concerning o f f i c i a l s because t h e i r contact with 162 Table XVIII. Perceived Competence of Block Advisors 1) Would you rate Block O f f i c i a l s as well informed, or as poorly informed on modern a g r i c u l t u r a l techniques? - say r e l a t i v e to yourself? Cannot Better Same Worse They Know Assess Theory Only % % % % % A l l responses 21 55 11 7 5 *Assessment given 71 14 9 6 2) How well educated are the Block O f f i c i e s ? - say r e l a t i v e to the average v i l l a g e r ? Cannot Better Less Same as Assess Educated Educated Average A l l responses 63 34 1 2 *Assessment given 90 3 7 3) Have Block O f f i c i a l s ever given you bad, or false advice? No Advice Given Advice Given Bad Given None Bad Advice A l l responses 75 24 1 *Assessment given 95 5 4) Have any new supplies etc. provided by Block O f f i c i a l s worked out badly? No Supplies Given Supplies Given Bad Given None Bad Supplies % % % A l l responses 72 22 6 *Assessment given 81 9 *Percentage for "assessment given" exclude respondents who offered no assessment of O f f i c i a l s on the p a r t i c u l a r question. 163 o f f i c i a l s had been so l i m i t e d . Only twenty-one percent passed no observation concerning t h e i r knowledge of new a g r i c u l t u r a l p r a c t i c e s . Most assumed that they must be informed on agriculture because i t was t h e i r job. However, as high as sixty-three percent had formed no impression as to t h e i r l e v e l of education. Seventy-five percent had never received any advice from o f f i c i a l s , and seventy-two percent had never received any supplies from them. For these respondents, the questions concerning the q u a l i t y of advice and assistance given by o f f i c i a l s were i r r e l e v a n t . This very high non-response to the questions designed to measure the perceived expertise of o f f i c i a l s i s i n d i c a t i v e of the l i m i t a t i o n s of i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n of information. While some i n f o r -mation has eventually reached these respondents, they lack any basis for evaluating i t s q u a l i t y , or the competence of those i n i t i a t i n g the proposals. The p r e d i c t i o n generated from t h i s mixed response i s that respondents who have been informed on new proposals d i r e c t l y from competent o f f i c i a l s are more l i k e l y to adopt them than those who have received information i n d i r e c t l y at second or t h i r d hand. This p r e d i c t i o n would not be expected to hold i n the event that o f f i c i a l s , as primary informants, were perceived to be incompetent. This p r e d i c t i o n i s tested through the association between frequency of d i r e c t conversations with o f f i c i a l s and the adoption of known projects. As shown i n the previous chapter, frequency of contact with o f f i c i a l s i s c l o s e l y correlated with access to other f i r s t - h a n d means of communication through clubs or l i t e r a t u r e . Table XIX shows the mean frequency of adoption of d i f f e r e n t aspects Table XIX. Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g Contact With O f f i c i a l s Contact with O f f i c i a l s Aspect of Programme Freq. Some None Agriculture N u t r i t i o n Sanitation Family Planning Application for Funds Overall Programme 66 55 40 55 44 34 • 41 36 29 12 8 4 45 . 36 33 51 43 32 Percentages include ONLY informed respondents. This number varies with the projects considered. Number of informed respondents, c o n t r o l l i n g contact, with o f f i c i a l s i s shown i n appendix, Table XLVIII. In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged proportion of informed respondents who adopted projects r e l a t e d to d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, when c o n t r o l l i n g f o r contact with o f f i c i a l s . For f u l l - l e n g t h table i n which frequency of adoption of each project i s l i s t e d separately, see appendix Table IL. This table i s derived from responses to questions 14 - 35, 78, and 89 - 92 i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 165 of the programmes when c o n t r o l l i n g l e v e l of contact with o f f i c i a l s . These proportional adoption rates are based ONLY on the number of informed respondents, that i s , the respondents who indicated that they knew about the projects i n question. Those who were prevented from adopting new proposals through ignorance are excluded from the percent c a l c u l a t i o n s . I t i s for t h i s reason that no set number of respondents can be given for the o v e r a l l table. The actual number of informed respondents on each project i s given i n the appendix. The data summarized i n Table XIX c l o s e l y support the above p r e d i c t i o n . For each major aspect of the programmes the mean pro-portion of respondents who have adopted new proposals i s highest among those having frequent contact with Block o f f i c i a l s . The aver-age rate of adoption f a l l s among those having only occasional con-versations with them. I t i s lowest among the numerical majority of respondents who have never talked d i r e c t l y with o f f i c i a l s , but have depended upon i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n of information. This progressive decline i n frequency of adoption holds with respect to a l l but three of the twenty-four s p e c i f i c projects examined. This response pattern demonstrates that while many v i l l a g e r s have learned something about development programmes, t h i s information has had markedly les s impact among those lacking d i r e c t access to o f f i c i a l s . By implication, they have l i t t l e incentive to undertake major changes i n t r a d i t i o n a l modes of farming and other a c t i v i t i e s , i n order to adopt new and untried proposals from l a r g e l y unknown sources. Their response i s tentative and p a r t i a l , being l i m i t e d to the t r i a l of a few best-known projects. This p a r t i a l adoption may further depress incentives f or future 166 innovation since i t i s u n l i k e l y to r e s u l t i n s i g n i f i c a n t gains over t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s . This i s e s p e c i a l l y true for a g r i c u l t u r e where simultaneous adoption of a range of p r a c t i c e s i s needed to improve y i e l d p o t e n t i a l . A second feature of t h i s response pattern i s the r e l a t i v e preference shown for some projects over others. For each category of respondents, the mean adoption rate for the o v e r a l l programme provides a base l i n e for comparison with s p e c i f i c p r o j e c t s . 1 With only three exceptions, the r e l a t i v e adoption of s p e c i f i c p r o j e c t s , e i t h e r more or l e s s frequently than the mean, i s consistent for a l l categories of respondents. This suggests that there i s no marked v a r i a t i o n i n underlying values or preference ordering between these categories of respondents. The c r i t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e between them i s t h e i r readiness to respond to any i n i t i a t i v e s from the Block. A separate t e s t of the hypothesis i s the r e l a t i v e s i g n i f i -cance of contact, over f a c t i o n and caste a f f i l i a t i o n , i n p r e d i c t i n g v a r i a t i o n i n adoption rates. I f the above hypothesis i s correct, i t i s predicted that contact with o f f i c i a l s w i l l remain s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e l a t e d to adoption rates when f a c t i o n and caste differences are c o n t r o l l e d . These sectors of the communities are c l o s e l y correlated with the v a r i a b l e of contact with o f f i c i a l s and hence several of the c e l l s izes are small. The t e s t i s thus confined to the two best known projects of high y i e l d i n g seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s , where the The f u l l - l e n g t h Table IL given i n the appendix, indicates v a r i a t i o n i n adoption rates about the mean for each project l i s t e d . 167 base number of informed respondents i s large. Table XX indicates the extent of investment i n these two major projects by respondents who have eit h e r some, or no d i r e c t contact with o f f i c i a l s , while c o n t r o l l i n g f a c t i o n and caste d i v i s i o n s . The f i r s t part of the table indicates these respondents who use predominently low y i e l d seeds, mixed use, or predominently high y i e l d seeds. The second part indicates those respondents who have made a minimal investment i n f e r t i l i z e r s , use a medium amount, or a large amount of f e r t i l i z e r per acre. The p r e d i c t i o n that lack of d i r e c t contact with o f f i c i a l s w i l l be linked with l i m i t e d investment i n new proposals i s supported. Within each f a c t i o n and caste, the proportion of respondents who use predominently low y i e l d seeds, and minimal f e r t i l i z e r , i s uni-formly higher among those having no contact with o f f i c i a l s . The proportion who evidence high investment i n eit h e r project i s uniformly lower. This consistent association supports the general assumption that i n d i r e c t d i f f u s i o n of information w i l l have l i m i t e d impact i n promoting innovation. Comprehensive Information A second c l o s e l y r e l a t e d assumption concerns the compre-hensiveness of information received regarding new proposals. Complete, as well as accurate information i s important for p r e d i c t i n g the f u l l implications and anticipated outcomes of new proposals. This second assumption i s that when information received through whatever means i s r i c h i n d e t a i l , i t i s more l i k e l y to appear r e l i a b l e as a basis for assessing new proposals than when i t i s vague and 168 Table XX. Adoption of Seeds and F e r t i l i z e r by Contact, Controlling Faction and Caste Adoption by Faction and Caste Some Contact No Contact P. R. H. M. L. P. R. H. M. L. Seeds Used % % % % % % % % % % Mainly low yield 9 26 10 24 32 40 60 30 48 55 Mixed 9 21 25 20 26 20 25 20 20 19 Mainly high yield 82 52 65 56 42 40 15 50 31 26 Total No. 33 19 20 25 31 5 20 10 35 74 F e r t i l i z e r Used 0-1 5 kil o 7 22 27 30 52 50 41 55 54 57 25 kilo 36 52 35 39 19 25 34 27 34 28 50 kilo & over 57 26 38 31 29 26 25 18 12 15 Total No. 39 23 26 36 43 8 24 11 65 119 Farmers not growing rice, are classified on the basis of seeds used for wheat only. P. = Proudhans1 supporters R. = Rival faction supporters H. = Neutral Higher Castes M. = Neutral Middle Castes L. = Neutral Lower Castes These tables are derived from responses to questions 14 and 16, in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 169 imprecise. This i s stated as the hypothesis that: 5) When information received on new proposals i s fragmentary or vague, i t w i l l have l e s s persuasive impact i n promoting innovation than when information i s precise and d e t a i l e d . This hypothesis i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to the above. Information dissemi-nated at second and t h i r d hand i s more l i k e l y to be vague than when received d i r e c t l y from informed sources. This may not be the case when such d i f f u s i o n occurs through extensive contact with intermed-i a r i e s who are themselves well informed. I d e a l l y , the analysis of the r e l a t i o n between d e t a i l and persuasion would be based on precise measurement of the amount of d e t a i l included i n information received on each proposal. This was not p r a c t i c a l i n the present study. Instead, the general index used i s whether respondents knew of both nitrogen and phosphate based f e r t i l i z e r s . The assumption made here i s that those lacking such information w i l l n e c e s s a r i l y lack d e t a i l e d information on a l l other aspects of a g r i c u l t u r a l extension, since these are so c l o s e l y linked with inputs of f e r t i l i z e r . A g r i c u l t u r e was given p r i o r i t y i n emphasis by the Block o f f i c i a l s who promoted the programmes. Evidence of l i m i t e d knowledge of a g r i c u l t u r a l projects i s thus a good i n d i c a t o r of l i m i t e d information on non-a g r i c u l t u r a l projects as w e l l . Again, a l l respondents who were ignorant of p a r t i c u l a r projects are excluded from the analysis. The hypothesized d i f f e r e n c e i s only i n degree of d e t a i l included i n information received. The p r e d i c t i o n i n t h i s case i s that new proposals are more l i k e l y to be adopted when d e t a i l e d information 170 i s received, as indicated by the key f e r t i l i z e r p r o ject, than when such d e t a i l i s lacking. Table XXI shows the averaged adoption rates for each aspect of the programmes when c o n t r o l l i n g t h i s index of amount of d e t a i l i n information received. The response pattern supports the above hypothesis. The mean proportion of respondents who have adopted new proposals i s consistently lower among those who lack d e t a i l e d knowledge of f e r t i l i z e r s . This holds true with respect to a l l but three of the s p e c i f i c projects examined. Relative p r e f e r -ence for s p e c i f i c projects again does not vary widely across the two categories of respondents. For a l l save three s p e c i f i c projects t h e i r r e l a t i v e frequency of adoption, above or below the mean, i s constant across both categories of respondents. (See appendix Table L I ) . A further t e s t of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s association i s the extent to which the c o r r e l a t i o n i s retained when c o n t r o l l i n g f a c t i o n and caste a f f i l i a t i o n . I f the general hypothesis i s correct, the r e l a t i o n between d e t a i l i n information and adoption rates w i l l hold within each sector of the communities. The data shown i n Table XXII supports t h i s p r e d i c t i o n . Within each sector a higher proportion of respondents who have only vague information continue to use predominently low y i e l d seeds and l i m i t e d f e r t i l i z e r . Fewer of them make large investments i n eit h e r project than respondents from the same sector of the communities who have more d e t a i l e d information. In summary, the two propositions examined above both r e l a t e to the same underlying assumption, namely that readiness to respond 171 Table XXI. Summary of. Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g D e t a i l i n Information D e t a i l i n Information Aspect of Programme High Low Agric u l t u r e 59 44 Nu t r i t i o n 49 36 Sanitation 42 31 Family Planning 10 4 Application for Funds 35 31 Overall Programme 45 34 Percentages include only informed respondents. This number varies with the projects considered. Number of informed respondents, c o n t r o l l i n g d e t a i l i n information, i s shown i n appendix, Table L. In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged proportion of informed respondents who adopted projects r e l a t e d to d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, when c o n t r o l l i n g d e t a i l i n information. For f u l l - l e n g t h table i n which frequency of adoption of each project i s . . l i s t e d separately, see appendix, Table LI. This table i s derived from responses to questions 14-35, 78, and 89-92 i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 172 Table XXII. Adoption of Seeds and F e r t i l i z e r by Degree of Detail in Information, Controlling Faction and Caste Adoption by Detail in Information Detailed Information Incomplete Information P. R. H. M. L. P. R. H. M. L. Seeds Used % % % % % % % % % % Mainly low yield 12 37 12 20 35 17 50 23 59 55 Mixed 9 21 12 19 22 17 25 38 20 19 Mainly high yield 79 42 76 61 43 67 25 38 21 26 Total No. 32 19 17 31 35 6 20 13 29 70 F e r t i l i z e r Used 0-15 kilo 14 21 17 30 41 16 42 64 56 63 25 kilo 26 39 30 28 •21 59 46 36 41 28 50 kil o and over 60 39 52 42 37 25 12 0 3 9 Total No. 35 23 23 40 53 12 24 14 59 108 Farmers no growing rice, are classified on the basis of seeds used for wheat only. P. = Proudhans' supporters R. = Rival faction supporters H.-= Neutral Higher Castes M. = Neutral Middle Castes L. = Neutral Lower Castes These tables are derived from responses to questions 14, and 16, in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 173 to any new proposal i s contingent upon a r e c i p i e n t 1 s perception of the q u a l i t y of information received, i n terms of which proposals can be evaluated. Respondents appear reluctant to innovate when they lack any firm basis for re l i a n c e i n the competence of informants, or i n the accuracy and thoroughness with which information i s transmitted to them. This low persuasive impact i s i r r e s p e c t i v e of the nature of the proposals i n question. Support for both propositions emphasises that the strategy of focusing attention on a core of v i l l a g e leaders as p o t e n t i a l opinion leaders f o r others has a 'doubly negative e f f e c t on the success of r u r a l development programmes. As indicated i n the previous chapter, the l e v e l of information reaching others outside the range of close associates and status equals of these leaders i s very r e s t r i c t e d . Moreover, such information as i s received has con-siderably weaker persuasive impact i n promoting active response to new proposals. This decline i n adoption rates i n response to poorer q u a l i t y information i s evidenced even.among r e l a t i v e l y c l o s e r assoc-iates of the v i l l a g e leaders, although not to the same extent as among other sectors of the communities. Trust i n Advisors -The variable of t r u s t i n advisors i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from concern with t h e i r competence. I t r e l a t e s to evaluation of the underlying i n t e r e s t s and biases which may be expected to influence proposals supported by d i f f e r e n t advisors. The assumption tested i n the previous chapter was that informants can be expected to bias information they transmit i n favour of proposals they a c t i v e l y support, and against objectives which they oppose. The p a r a l l e l 174 assumption examined here i s that r e l a t i o n s with advisors w i l l be a c r i t i c a l determinant of how advice received w i l l be interpreted or weighted by a r e c i p i e n t . Where these r e l a t i o n s are characterized by l i k i n g and t r u s t , t h i s i s l i k e l y to promote a p o s i t i v e appraisal of the value of new proposals which they support. Conversely, d i f f i -c u l t or h o s t i l e r e l a t i o n s are l i k e l y to promote scepticism regarding proposals which they i n i t i a t e . The hypothesis derived from t h i s assumption i s that 6) When information on new proposals i s i n i t i a t e d from sources associated with previous c o n f l i c t s , i t w i l l have l e s s persuasive impact i n promoting innovation than when such c o n f l i c t s are absent. The extent of h o s t i l i t y generated i n r e l a t i o n s with informants i s independent of appraisal of t h e i r competence, and r e l a t e s to d i f f e r -ent kinds of experience with them. Block o f f i c i a l s and Proudhans are p r i m a r i l y responsible for i n i t i a t i n g new proposals i n the v i l l a g e s . The number and s e v e r i t y of complaints which i n d i v i d u a l respondents r a i s e d against these persons provides an index of the character of r e l a t i o n s between them. General complaints of favouritism or d i s -i n t e r e s t are given a single weighting i n the index of antipathy, while more serious complaints of cheating and abuse are given a double weighting. I t was assumed that d i r e c t experience of fraud and p h y s i c a l abuse would weigh more strongly i n a respondent's d i s t r u s t of o f f i c i a l s and v i l l a g e leaders than would more generalized complaints. The nature and extent of the complaints which make up t h i s index are shown i n Table XXIII. The most freguent of minor 175 Table XXIII. Indices of Antipathy by Faction and Caste % Respondents Who Complained Pr. % Riv. % High % Mid. Q, "O Low % Total No. % *MINOR COMPLAINTS No personal benefit from Block 35 64 44 77 82 392 72' Officials lack concern/interest 20 66 40 63 72 332 60 El i t e favouritism/neglect 12 39 15. 46 52 230 43 Favouritism by Proudhan 9 18 8 51 93 179 33 Bad advice or supplies given 15 14 6 5 3 34 6 Minor troubles with seedstore 0 16 0 2 6 28 5 Favouritism in Coop. Society 6 5 2 6 4 25 4 Resent free labour groups 0 0 0 1 9 24 4 Disrupt village relations *MAJOR COMPLAINTS 8 foS 2 4 fro 1 1 12 2 Cheated by Coop. Society 0 2 o. l 4 12 2 Govt, loans blocked/cheated 0 9 0 l i 8 2 Cheated in seedstore 4 5 9 4 4 25 4 Other trouble and abuse 8 20 4 19 38 141 26 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 *Minor complaints are given a score of 1, Major complaints a score of 2. It was assumed that direct experience of fraud and physical abuse would weigh more strongly in a respondent's distrust of o f f i c i a l s and village leaders than would more generalized complaints. 176 complaints relate to perceived unfair exclusion from many of the potential benefits available from Block services. Some respondents also f e l t ignored, or complained that o f f i c i a l s showed no interest or concern in giving advice to them. Closely related complaints were that o f f i c i a l s deliberately favoured the el i t e and wealthy sectors of the communities. Such complaints were extended also to the Proudhans and to those who controlled the cooperative societies. These complaints a l l reflect the feeling of respondents that their interests are accorded low priority in the concerns of either o f f i c -i a l s or village leaders. Others complained of receiving poor quality supplies or very poor service from Block-operated seedstores. A few others resented Block activities because they had been required to provide labour without pay to construct new amenities. A minority of higher castes expressed resentment that Block activities had increased the insolence and disrespect shown by lower castes towards their traditional caste superiors within the villages. More serious and pointed complaints registered against o f f i c i a l s and village leaders included direct accusations of being cheated by them out of rightful benefits or aid f a c i l i t i e s . These accusations included f a l s i f i c a t i o n of records of loans taken, false receipts, bribes or other demands imposed before providing grants and services. Lastly, a quarter of a l l respondents raised some complaints of hostile acts against them or family members, demands for bribes, withholding wages, or physical abuse, particularly against low castes. Table XXIV indicates the cumulative score on these responses. A score of 0-1 indicates minimal complaints, while a score of 4 and above 177 Table XXIV. Total Antipathy Score % Respondents by Total Score Total Score Pr. Riv. High Mid. Low Total % % % % % No. % Zero - One 49 23 47 21 8 109 20 Two - Three 27 36 40 43 35 200 37 Four or Above 24 40 12 36 57 231 43 178 i n d i c a t e s a h i g h l e v e l o f a n t i p a t h y . T h i s h i g h s c o r e r e f l e c t s e i t h e r two m a j o r e x p e r i e n c e s o f c h e a t i n g and o t h e r a b u s e , o r a s e r i e s o f m i n o r c o m p l a i n t s . V a r i a t i o n i n s c o r e s a c r o s s s e c t o r s o f t h e c o m m u n i t i e s r o u g h l y p a r a l l e l s f a v o u r e d a c c e s s t o . o f f i c i a l s . The p r o p o r t i o n o f r e s p o n d e n t s who r a i s e d m i n i m a l c o m p l a i n t s i s h i g h e s t among t h e f a v o u r e d P r o u d h a n s 1 s u p p o r t e r s and n e u t r a l h i g h e r c a s t e s , w h i l e b e i n g c o n s p i c -u o u s l y low among low c a s t e r e s p o n d e n t s . However , t h e r e i s a l a r g e number o f r e s p o n d e n t s among t h e P r o u d h a n s ' s u p p o r t e r s who r a i s e d s t r o n g c o m p l a i n t s , a q u a r t e r h a v i n g a s c o r e o f f o u r o r a b o v e . T h i s i s d o u b l e t h e p r o p o r t i o n among n e u t r a l h i g h e r c a s t e s , a l t h o u g h s t i l l s m a l l e r t h a n among r i v a l s o r l o w e r c a s t e s . T h i s s u r p r i s i n g l y h i g h r a t e o f c o m p l a i n t among t h e P r o u d h a n s ' s u p p o r t e r s may r e f l e c t t h e i r h i g h e r e x p e c t a t i o n s o f p r e f e r e n t i a l t r e a t m e n t f r o m o f f i c i a l s . I t may a l s o r e f l e c t t h e i r g r e a t e r awareness o f the s h o r t c o m i n g s o f t h e s e o f f i c i a l s , t h r o u g h c l o s e r f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h them. The a s s u m p t i o n made h e r e i s t h a t a h i g h a n t i p a t h y s c o r e w i l l be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s c e p t i c i s m and r e d u c e d p e r s u a s i v e i m p a c t o f new p r o p o s a l s . I t i s p r e d i c t e d t h a t a d o p t i o n o f new p r o p o s a l s w i l l d e c l i n e a s t h e number o f c o m p l a i n t s i n c r e a s e s . The d a t a summar ized i n T a b l e XXV o f f e r s p a r t i a l s u p p o r t f o r t h i s p r e d i c t i o n . The a v e r a g e d p r o p o r -t i o n o f r e s p o n d e n t s who have a d o p t e d new p r o p o s a l s f o r d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s o f the programmes i s u n i f o r m l y h i g h e r among t h o s e who r a i s e d ; t h e l e a s t c o m p l a i n t s . However , t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l i s n o t marked and i s n o t c o n s i s t e n t f o r s i x o f the s p e c i f i c p r o j e c t s examined (see a p p e n d i x T a b l e L I I I ) . There i s no c o n s i s t e n t d e c l i n e i n f r e q u e n c y o f a d o p t i o n f rom medium t o h i g h s c o r e r s . D i f f e r e n c e s a r e s m a l l and 179 Table XXV. Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Antipathy Score Antipathy Score Aspect of Programme Low Med. High 0-1 2-3 4+ % % % Agriculture 59 47 46 Nutrition 42 38 41 Sanitation 40 32 29 Family Planning 9 7 5 Application for Funds 32 27 30 Overall Programme 45 36 36 Percentages include ONLY informed respondents. This number varies with the projects considered. Number of informed respondents, controlling antipathy.score, is shown in appendix. Table LII. In this summary table, a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged proportion of informed respondents who adopted projects related to different aspects of the programmes, when controlling antipathy. For full-length table in which frequency of adoption of each project is l i s t e d separately, see appendix, Table LIII. This table is derived from responses to questions 14-35, 78, and 89-92 in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 180 sometimes reversed from the d i r e c t i o n predicted. This generally weak support f o r the hypothesis suggests that other variables intervene to reduce the influence of negative exper-iences on persuasion to innovate, p a r t i c u l a r l y among high scorers. This i s further indicated i n the second measure of association be-tween complaints and adoption rates when c o n t r o l l i n g f a c t i o n and caste a f f i l i a t i o n . This i s shown i n Table XXVI with reference to adoption of high y i e l d i n g seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s . The s p e c i f i c p r e d i c t i o n here i s that within each sector of the community, investment i n these two key projects w i l l be uniformly lower among respondents who r a i s e d more complaints against o f f i c i a l s and leaders. This r e l a t i o n s h i p holds for three categories of respondents, neutral higher castes, middle and low castes. Within these three sectors a greater proportion of respondents who r a i s e d many complaints s t i l l r e l y p r i m a r i l y on low y i e l d seeds and use minimal f e r t i l i z e r . A much smallerproportion have made a s i g n i f i c a n t investment i n e i t h e r project. This predicted r e l a t i o n s h i p , however, does not hold con-s i s t e n t l y among the Proudhans 1 supporters, or r i v a l f a c t i o n s . These data suggest that antipathy towards o f f i c i a l s exerted l e s s influence on response to development programmes among the upper s t r a t a of v i l l a g e leaders. Additional variables appear to counter-balance the impact of antipathy on readiness to respond to i n i t i a t i v e s from the Block. Other v a r i a b l e s hypothesised to increase the per-suasive impact of information received are concentrated among the upper s t r a t a and p a r t i c u l a r l y among the Proudhans' supporters. They are more l i k e l y to receive d i r e c t and d e t a i l e d information than the 181 Table XXVI. Adoption of Seeds and F e r t i l i z e r by Antipathy, Controlling Faction and Caste Adopt by Antipathy Score Low Antipathy (0-3) High Antipathy (4+) P. R. H. M. L. P. R. H. M. L. o, •o % % % % % % % % % Seeds Used Mainly low yield 10 50 8 36 45 22 35* 75 43 50 Mixed 14 22 26 12 24 0 24 0 31 18 Mainly high yield 76 27 65 53 31 78* 41* 25 27 32 Total No. 29 22 26 34 49 9 17 4 26 56 F e r t i l i z e r Used 0-15 kil o 14 26 28 38 50 g* 32 80 56 60 25 kil o 37 32 38 40 26 27 45 0 28 25 50 kilo and over 49 42 34 22 24 63* 23 20 16 15 Total No. 35 31 32 62 70 11 22 5 39 91 *Results not in prediced direction. Farmers not growing rice, are classified on the basis of seeds used for wheat only. P. = Proudhans' supporters R.- = Rival faction supporters H. = Neutral Higher Castes M. = Neutral Middle Castes L. = Neutral Lower Castes These tables are derived from responses to questions 14, and 16, in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 182 middle and lower castes. An a d d i t i o n a l factor which i s considered below, i s the influence of r e l a t i v e economic p o s i t i o n within the v i l l a g e communities i n compensating for reluctance to innovate based on h o s t i l i t y towards o f f i c i a l s . The i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s between these three major variables are examined i n the conclusion to t h i s a n a l y s i s . In summary, the high l e v e l of complaints voiced against o f f i c i a l s t e s t i f i e s to the prevalence of administrative mismanagement, and bad r e l a t i o n s between v i l l a g e r s generally and Block o f f i c i a l s . I t i s a further i n d i c a t i o n of the negative consequences for innova-t i o n which may r e s u l t from i n i t i a t i n g development programmes among the e l i t e sectors of the communities. Favouritism shown towards e l i t e s can only i n t e n s i f y e x i s t i n g resentment and d i s t r u s t among the lower s t r a t a . This resentment appears to further depress the w i l l i n g -ness of d i s p r i v i l e g e d v i l l a g e r s to respond to i n i t i a t i v e s f o r innova-t i o n from these o f f i c i a l s . P r a c t i c a l i t y of New Proposals This l a s t v ariable concerns the influence of economic d i s -p a r i t i e s on perception of the relevance and p r a c t i c a l i t y of new proposals. The observed association between small landholdings and l i m i t e d innovation has prompted the assumption that these poorer farmers have a r e l a t i v e l y low propensity to accept change or to r i s k experimenting with innovations, over and above the immediate f i n a n c i a l b a r r i e r s to expensive c a p i t a l investments. This r e l a t i o n s h i p i s p a r t i c u l a r l y emphasised i n works by E.M. Rogers on d i f f u s i o n of 183 innovations. The t r a d i t i o n - o r i e n t e d perspectives a t t r i b u t e d to the "laggards", who are the l a s t to accept innovations, are held to be e s p e c i a l l y prevalent among the lower economic, stratum of peasant farmers (1962, 168-191; 1970, Ch. 4; 1971, 183-189). 2 However, i t i s already c l e a r from t h i s study that the s i g n i f i c a n c e of lower economic rank cannot be e a s i l y d i s s o c i a t e d from the a d d i t i o n a l var-i a b l e s of q u a l i t y of information received, and the character of r e l a t i o n s with o f f i c i a l s . Both variables are c l o s e l y associated with economic d i s p a r i t i e s . The concern here i s thus not simply to measure the association between economic hierarchy and adoption rates, but to examine the conditions which underlie the association, and the variables which mediate i t . The i n i t i a l assumption made here i s that a chooser w i l l be r e l u c t a n t to become committed to new proposals or to embark on exten-sive p r e - t r i a l s when they appear to be impractical i n r e l a t i o n to h i s own p o s i t i o n and resources. A further assumption i s that i n the context of new and untried proposals, a chooser's perception of t h e i r p r a c t i c a l i t y w i l l be d i r e c t l y influenced by the apparent economic advantages of others who are associated with them. Proposals are more l i k e l y to appear p r a c t i c a l when i n i t i a t e d among others of s i m i l a r or lower economic p o s i t i o n to that of the chooser. When i n i t i a t e d among a wealthier stratum, they are more l i k e l y to be dismissed as i m p r a c t i c a l . This may be stated as the hypothesis that: 7) When new proposals are i n i t i a t e d among a wealthier For further discussion, see Chapter Two, pages 52 - 53. 184 stratum of a community, they w i l l have less persuasive impact i n promoting innovation among r e c i p i e n t s of progressively lower r e l a t i v e economic p o s i t i o n . The s p e c i f i c assertion to be tested here i s that s i z e of landholding by i t s e l f i s not the determining variable i n readiness to innovate, but rather the perceived bias i n the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of persons to whom the programmes are directed. This hypothesis again asserts that the strategy of focusing attention on e l i t e s w i l l function to depress adoption among poorer v i l l a g e r s , by leading them to perceive a l l aspects of the programmes as p r a c t i c a l and relevant only f o r much wealthier persons than themselves. I t i s predicted that where small landholders receive equal attention i n promoting the programmes, the association between small landholding and reluctance to innovate w i l l be minimj-zed.^ This hypothesis i s d i f f i c u l t to t e s t i n the context of t h i s study. Block o f f i c i a l s associate p r i m a r i l y with members of the wealthy and upper caste stratum i n each of the v i l l a g e s . However, three factors do permit some d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n to be made between siz e of landholding and contact with o f f i c i a l s . The size of the largest landholdings varies from v i l l a g e to v i l l a g e , hence providing some i n t e r - v i l l a g e contrast i n the wealth of the favoured farmers. Secondly, a proportion of poorer farmers do have some contact with o f f i c i a l s , usually by v i r t u e of t i e s with fellow high caste v i l l a g e r s or wealthier f a c t i o n members. Conversely, some wealthy farmers who are not associated with prominent factions claimed l i t t l e d i r e c t contact with o f f i c i a l s . These exceptions provide some comparative 1 8 5 basis f o r analysing the r e l a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e of landholding, as against .contact with o f f i c i a l s , i n readiness to innovate. A further factor which confuses the analysis i s that the conditions predicted to encourage a p o s i t i v e assessment of the p r a c t i c a l i t y of proposals are c l o s e l y linked with conditions which improve the q u a l i t y of information received. Both are re l a t e d to the extent of contact with o f f i c i a l s who sponsor the programmes. However, both these variables r e l a t e to the same underlying assump-ti o n that conditions for assessment of proposals, and not size of landholdings, constitute the determining v a r i a b l e s i n readiness to innovate. Two predictions may be stated here. F i r s t l y , given that new proposals have been i n i t i a t e d p r i m a r i l y among the wealthier s t r a t a , adoption rates w i l l be progressively lower among the poorer s t r a t a . Secondly, adoption rates w i l l increase s i g n i f i c a n t l y among members of the poorer s t r a t a who have received d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n from o f f i c i a l s . I f these predictions are correct, the expected association between landholding and adoption rates w i l l be minimized when contact with o f f i c i a l s i s c o n t r o l l e d . A condition placed on t h i s assertion i s that necessary input f a c i l i t i e s f o r s p e c i f i c pro-j e c t s be ava i l a b l e to the poor. The data summarised i n Table XXVII strongly support the expected association between landholding and adoption rates. For each major aspect of the development programmes, the average propor-t i o n of respondents who adopted new proposals i s uniformly higher among large landowners with nine acres and over, and uniformly lowest among those with only two acres or l e s s . Such a pattern of response Table XXVII. Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, Controlling Landholding Size of Landholding in Acres Aspect of Programme 0-2 3-8 9+ % % % Agriculture 41 52 67 Nutrition 29 38 48 Sanitation 29 33 55 Family Planning 5 8 13 Application for Funds 25 35 40 Overall Programme 31 40 54 Percentages include ONLY informed respondents. This number varies with the projects considered. Number of informed respondents, controlling size of landholding, is given:'.in appendix, Table LIV. In this summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures indicate the averaged proportion of informed respondents who adopted projects related to different aspects of the programmes, when controlling landholding. For full-length table in which frequency of adoption of each project is lis t e d separately, see appendix, Table LV. This table is derived from responses to questions 14-35, 78, and 89-92.in the questionnaire given in the appendix. 187 is common in studies of development programmes. Taken in isolation from other variables, i t appears to offer support for the thesis that small landholders are reluctant to innovate. However, this association is sharply reduced when contact with o f f i c i a l s i s introduced as an intervening variable. Table XXVIII shows proportional adoption of projects among large and small landholders, dichotomized in relation to contact with o f f i c i a l s . Attention from o f f i c i a l s counterbalances small landholdings to a significant extent in readiness to innovate. Frequency of adoption uniformly increases among small landholders when they have some contact with o f f i c i a l s . Equally significant is the comparison between small landholders who have contact with o f f i c -i a l s and large landholders who do not. The mean adoption rates for both categories of respondents are closely comparable for each aspect of the programmes. The potential advantage of larger landholdings appears to be negated by limited contact with o f f i c i a l s . Table XXIX provides a further measure of the influence of attention from o f f i c i a l s in countering the association between small landholdings and low innovation. It indicates proportional investment in high yielding seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s when both variables are controlled. For both small and large landowners a greater proportion of respondents who lack contact with o f f i c i a l s s t i l l use predominently low yielding seeds and l i t t l e f e r t i l i z e r , compared with farmers with similar landholdings who have received direct attention from o f f i c i a l s . Fewer of them make a large investment in either project. The variable of contact again serves to reduce the differ-ential in adoption rates between large and small farmers. Proportional adoption of high yielding seeds i s greater among small farmers who have contact with o f f i c i a l s , than among large farmers who have not. 188 Table XXVIII. Summary of Average Adoption of Projects Among Informed Respondents, C o n t r o l l i n g Landholding and Contact With O f f i c i a l s Landholding and Contact Aspect of Programme 0-5 Acres 6+-' Acres Contact None Some None Some Agric u l t u r e N u t r i t i o n Sanitation Family Planning Application f o r Funds Overall Programme 37 51 49. 68 36 45 45 43 27 32 45 48 4 10 5 10 33 42 34 38 30 41 41 51 Percentages include ONLY informed respondents. This number varies with the projects considered. Number of informed respondents, c o n t r o l l i n g landholding and contact with o f f i c i a l s , i s shown i n appendix, Table LVI. In t h i s summary table a l l projects are given equal weighting. The percent figures i n d i c a t e the averaged proportion of informed respondents who adopted projects r e l a t e d to d i f f e r e n t aspects of the programmes, when c o n t r o l l i n g landholding and contact with o f f i c i a l s . For f u l l - l e n g t h table i n which frequency of adoption of each project i s l i s t e d separately, see appendix, Table LVII. This table i s derived from responses to questions 14-35, 78, and 89-92 i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 189 Table XXIX. Interaction Between Contact and Landholding Adopt by Contact and Landholding Contact 0-5 Acres None Some 6+ Acres None Some % Seeds Used Mainly low y i e l d Mixed Mainly high y i e l d 53 20 28 29 19 51 37 25 37 12 25 63 To t a l No. 128 70 16 48 F e r t i l i z e r Used 0-15 k i l o 25 k i l o 50 k i l o and over 57 30 13 35 35 30 30 35 35 21 33 46 Total No. 201 97 26 69 Farmers not growing r i c e , are c l a s s i f i e d on the basis of seeds used for wheat only. These tables are derived from responses to questions 14 and 16, i n the questionnaire given i n the appendix. 190 Differences i n investment i n f e r t i l i z e r s are minimal between the two categories of respondents. These data indicate that while small landholding does influence adoption, i t i s not the primary determi-nant of investment p o t e n t i a l . In t h i s case, the v a r i a b l e s of f a c t i o n and caste, landholding and contact, are so c l o s e l y i n t e r -c orrelated that small c e l l sizes do not permit any further breakdown of t h e i r r e l a t i v e influence. The o v e r a l l frequency of adoption remains highest among large landowners who also have contact with o f f i c i a l s . This i n d i -cates that wealth does exert a p o s i t i v e independent influence on innovation. However, the apparent s i g n i f i c a n c e of wealth may be exaggerated by two f a c t o r s . Contact with o f f i c i a l s does not take account of differences i n the frequency and duration of attention received. The occasional meetings which some small farmers enjoy may not be s u f f i c i e n t to reverse t h e i r general perception of develop-ment programmes as relevant only for the r i c h . The second f a c t o r i s that the a v a i l a b i l i t y of input f a c i l i t i e s for poorer farmers i s not c o n t r o l l e d i n these tables. Their r e l a t i v e exclusion from f a c i l i t i e s may serve to increase the gap i n adoption rates between large and small landholders, independently of readiness of small farmers to innovate. In summary, t h i s o v e r a l l response pattern strongly supports the t h e o r e t i c a l assumption that the manner i n which development programmes are introduced within the communities i s a c r i t i c a l determinant of the apparent c o r r e l a t i o n between siz e of landholdings and rates of innovation. When small farmers are d i r e c t l y approached 191 by o f f i c i a l s , they have a more p o s i t i v e basis f o r appraising the p r a c t i c a l i t y of innovations f o r themselves, and also a more p o s i t i v e basis for appraising the q u a l i t y of information they receive. The marked increase i n frequency of adoption among small farmers when these two variables are p o s i t i v e , contradicts the assumption that small landholding i t s e l f induces low propensity to innovate. The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of being a 'small landholder' i n e f f e c t represents a summary term for cumulative disadvantages i n conditions f o r appraisal of new proposals. Interaction E f f e c t s The r e l a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e and i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s between the three main variables hypothesised to influence persuasion are considered below. The measure of contact with o f f i c i a l s provides an in d i c a t o r of perceived q u a l i t y of information received. The antipathy score provides an i n d i c a t o r of scepticism concerning the value of proposals associated with o f f i c i a l s . L a s t l y , size of landholding, i n conjunction with contact, provides an in d i c a t o r of perceived p r a c t i c a l i t y of new proposals. Each variable i s dichotomized, g i v i n g eight possible combinations. Results can only be suggestive i n view of the small c e l l s izes which r e s u l t . Only investment i n the two best known projects of high y i e l d i n g seeds and chemical f e r t i l i z e r s are included i n t h i s a n a l y s i s . The p r e d i c t i o n i n each case i s that respondents who are disadvantaged on the major variable w i l l be con s i s t e n t l y le s s l i k e l y to invest heavily i n e i t h e r project, when the other two variables are c o n t r o l l e d . Table XXX shows i Table XXX. Interaction E f f e c t s Between Three Major Variables % Adoption, C o n t r o l l i n g Contact, Landholding, and Antipathy-Some Contact No Contact Large Land Small Land Large Land Small Land low a n t i high low anti high low a n t i high low a n t i high Seeds Used % low y i e l d seed 11 mixed 23 high y i e l d seed 66 Total Informed 44 7 14 79 14 19 16 65 46 46 25 29 24 42 33 25 12 25 0 75 53^ 19 28 58 53 20 27 70 F e r t i l i z e r Used 0-15 k i l o 19" 25 k i l o 36 50 k i l o and over 45 27 20 53 28^  37 35 53 20 27 31 25 44 30 50 20 52 33 15 61 26 13 Total Informed 54 A l l Respondents 56 15 15 63 73 34 36 16 20 10 13 94 160 107 167 193 proportional investment i n these projects when c o n t r o l l i n g the three v a r i a b l e s simultaneously. Table XXXI presents the same data i n d i a -grammatic form. I t indicates the proportional difference i n adoption rates between respondents who are disadvantaged on the major variable compared with the advantaged respondents. The data suggest that each major variable exerts some inde-pendent influence on adoption but with pronounced i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t s between them. The f i r s t v a riable c o n t r o l l e d i s contact with o f f i c i a l s . A con s i s t e n t l y greater proportion of respondents who lack contact with o f f i c i a l s continue to use low y i e l d seeds and l i m i t e d f e r t i l i z e r , and fewer of them make any large investment i n eit h e r p r o j e c t than farmers who enjoy c l o s e r contact. This holds f o r each of the four comparisons when the other two variables of landholding and antipathy are c o n t r o l l e d . This suggests that contact exerts a strong independent influence on innovation. A s i m i l a r conclusion obtains f o r the influence of landholding. Small landowners are cons i s t e n t l y l e s s l i k e l y to invest i n these two projects than are large landowners, when the other variables are con t r o l l e d . The response pattern i s not clearcut with respect to the t h i r d v a r i a b l e of antipathy. Its independent influence on adoption rates i s inconsistent. Among large landowners a high antipathy score appears unrelated to investment patterns, but i t i s cons i s t e n t l y re-lated, to reduced investment i n both projects among small farmers. The influence of antipathy appears strongest when combined with the 194 Table XXXI. Proportional Differences in Adoption Rates Controlling Three Major Variables a) Contact - Some Contact/No Contact Large Land Small Land low antipathy high low antipathy high low yield seed -31 mix -10 high yield seed +41 low f e r t i l i z e r -12 med. +11 high f e r t i l i z e r + 1 -18 -34 - 7 + 1 4 - 3 +5 + 4 +37 + 2 - 3 - 2 4 - 8 -30 +4 - 6 +33 +20 +14 b) Landholding - Large Land/Small Land Some Contact low antipathy high No Contact low antipathy high low yield seed - 8 mix + 7 high yield seed + 1 low f e r t i l i z e r -. 9 med. - 1 high f e r t i l i z e r +10 -39 +11 -28 +11 +14 -20 +50 - 3 +48 -26 -21 -31 - 0 - 8 +24 +26 +29 + 7 c) Antipathy - low antipathy/high antipathy Large Land Small Land some contact none some contact none low yield seed + 4 mix + 9 high yield seed -13 low f e r t i l i z e r - 8 med. +16 high f e r t i l i z e r - 8 +17 -27 - 0 +33 +33 + 1 -50 . +36 + 1 + 1 -25 - 9 -25 +17 + 7 +24 +8 +2 1 9 5 the e f f e c t of small landholding and contact with o f f i c i a l s . When antipathy i s low, contact with o f f i c i a l s appears to exert a strong incentive f o r investment among small farmers. These small farmers evidence higher investment i n both projects than do large farmers who have no contact with o f f i c i a l s . However, when the antipathy score i s high, t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a l i s reversed. Proportional investment rates are lower among small farmers, despite contact with o f f i c i a l s , when antipathy i s high, than among large farmers who have no contact with them. This i n t e r a c t i o n e f f e c t i s shown i n the four c e n t r a l columns i n Table XXX, comparing columns three/five and columns f o u r / s i x . This suggests that while contact tends to promote investment among small farmers, t h i s r e l a t i o n f a i l s to hold when t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n i s fraught with complaints and d i s t r u s t . Contact may serve to increase perceived q u a l i t y of information and the perceived p r a c t i c a l i t y of new proposals, but when associated with high antipathy, the attendant scepticism more than outweighs these incentives. Only when conditions f o r assessment of proposals are p o s i t i v e i n a l l major respects does propensity for innovation c o n s i s t e n t l y r i s e among small farmers. Preference Ordering of Projects This l a s t section b r i e f l y considers the separate question of v a r i a t i o n i n frequency of adoption of d i f f e r e n t p r o j e c t s . This provides a rough behavioural i n d i c a t o r of r e l a t i v e preference 3 ordering. The objective here i s to examine the p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e For f u l l - l e n g t h table showing frequency of adoption of each p r o j e c t among informed respondents, see appendix, Table XLII. 196 of the content and quality of information received concerning the attributes associated with these projects, as against the role of cultural values in determining preference ordering. More detailed analysis of this relationship must await further research which in -corporates a more refined measure of interaction between information levels and expressed values than was achieved in this study. The main factors considered here are the acknowledged tech-nological limitations and low p r o f i t a b i l i t y of certain projects, and inadequacies of extension education which have resulted in significant gaps in understanding and appreciation of the attributes of recommended projects. These factors are considered in relation to expressed values opposing specific projects. Agricultural projects in general have been more widely adopted than other aspects of the programmes, but within this package of practices some projects are clearly less popular than others. Projects which were less readily adopted included high yielding rice relative to wheat, adoption of basic dressing f e r t i l i z e r s relative to top dressing, and multiple cropping. These are utilized by less than one-third of informed farmers, compared with two-thirds or more who have adopted other agricultural projects. Technological factors play an important role in the lower u t i l i z a t i o n of high yielding rice relative to wheat. Hybrid rice i s adknowledged to have poorer results in terms of quality of grain and productivity per acre, especially under the less than optimal conditions that prevail on most village farms. These limitations have been partially overcome by newer improved varieties. However, 197 t h e i r more widespread adoption i s r e s t r i c t e d p r i m a r i l y by the time-lag i n information flow from experimental farms to l o c a l farmers. Lack of s u f f i c i e n t l y d e t a i l e d knowledge among farmers also appears to be a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r l i m i t i n g the further u t i l i z a t i o n of basic dressing f e r t i l i z e r s . Farmers frequently recounted poorer y i e l d s when sub s t i t u t -ing basic for top dressing f e r t i l i z e r s , and i n t h i s respect t h e i r assessment i s probably correct. The contingent factor of which they are c l e a r l y not aware, i s the necessity for combined usage of both types of f e r t i l i z e r s for optimal r e s u l t s , and the greater value of phosphates as a dressing f o r the s o i l before p l a n t i n g rather than a f t e r germination. The l i m i t e d adoption of multiple cropping r e f l e c t s , i n part, the d i f f i c u l t i e s of marketing produce l o c a l l y . C u l t i v a t i o n of potatoes was t r i e d on a large scale by several farmers i n the fourth v i l l a g e . The outcome was a g l u t of potatoes on the l o c a l market, with no established marketing procedures for s e l l i n g the remainder i n dis t a n t c i t y markets. Prices f e l l below the l e v e l of production costs, r e s u l t i n g i n f i n a n c i a l losses on inputs of f e r t i l i z e r and labour. None of these large farmers has subsequently practiced any t r i p l e cropping, and they are outspoken c r i t i c s of the system. I r o n i c a l l y , for t h i s one project, the rates of adoption among r e l a t i v e l y unin-formed sectors of the communities are higher than for leading sectors. They have copied on a small scale the pr a c t i c e s noticed i n larger farmers' f i e l d s , without r e c e i v i n g any information on t h e i r negative marketing experience. They also have not learned about the e f f e c t s of s o i l depletion which are now stressed among informed c i r c l e s within 198 the v i l l a g e . As these informed farmers have now abandoned the p r a c t i c e , t h i s has resolved the glut of potatoes on the l o c a l market and permitted some p r o f i t f o r these small farmers. Both technology and marketing f a c i l i t i e s w i l l need to be improved to extend the adoption of these currently l e s s successful a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o j e c t s , but the need for better extension education services remains of major s i g n i f i c a n c e . Greater adoption w i l l be contingent upon reduction i n the b a r r i e r s of time-lag, and inadequate information, which f r u s t r a t e the transmission of technological developments to l o c a l farmers. V a r i a t i o n i n attitudes or values expressed towards the objectives of these proposals, reluctance to spend extra labour time on t r i p l e cropping, or to r a i s e investment i n a g r i c u l t u r e , have only marginal or r e s i d u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n low adoption rates. In areas of sa n i t a t i o n and n u t r i t i o n , technological problems are not a serious b a r r i e r to progress, and concern with p r o f i t a b i l i t y of new practices i s also not an immediate issue i n t h e i r adoption. However, innovation i n these f i e l d s remain markedly lower than f o r even the less successful a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o j e c t s . I t i s here that the factor of inadequate extension education assumes c r i t i c a l importance. Ignorance of the p o t e n t i a l value of new p r a c t i c e s f o r better health or for reduced infant mortality i s a cen t r a l factor l i m i t i n g adoption of both these aspects of the programmes. Respondents often knew of pr o j e c t s , and even the a t t r i b u t e s claimed f o r than, but lacked any understanding of the causal r e l a t i o n between pra c t i c e s i n n u t r i t i o n and s a n i t a t i o n , and incidence of disease. Without such knowledge, the 199 v i l l a g e r s have l i t t l e i f any incentive to change t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s , except for minor reasons of prestige, convenience, or taste. This ignorance i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident with respect to promotion of water-sealed l a t r i n e s . V i l l a g e r s who voiced strong opinions against using l a t r i n e s were frequently ignorant of any association between exposed waste and i n s e c t or airborne diseases. Most believed that exposure to wind i s i t s e l f a hygienic p r a c t i c e when at a reasonable distance from the v i l l a g e . As yet, they have l i t t l e f a c t u a l data to refute t h i s . Attitudes towards l a t r i n e s continue to be based on very l i m i t e d under-standing of t h e i r supposed advantages or the dangers of t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s . Similar ignorance of associated health factors i s evident i n the evaluation of clean water f a c i l i t i e s . Many v i l l a g e r s used p u r i f i e d water of necessity because a l l v i l l a g e wells were treated by v i s i t i n g health o f f i c i a l s , but few understood i t s importance i n the prevention of water-borne diseases. Hence i t does not stop the p r a c t i c e of using pond water for making wine because i t tastes better. In e f f e c t , for none of these above projects do more than a smattering of v i l l a g e r s have a sound t h e o r e t i c a l basis for p r e f e r r i n g them to t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s . Under such conditions i t i s more s u r p r i s i n g that so many people do accept the word of o f f i c i a l s that i t i s 'better', and adopt these p r a c t i c e s , than that so many do not. Poultry farming was the only p r o j e c t where values appeared to exert a c l e a r l y negative e f f e c t on adoption. In t h i s predominently vegetarian community, r e l i g i o u s p r o h i b i t i o n s r e s t r i c t eating meat, f i s h , and eggs. These p r o h i b i t i o n s are also strongly buttressed by factors of s o c i a l p r e s t i g e . There are considerable s o c i a l pressures 200 n o t t o e a t s u c h f o o d s l e s t i t l o w e r the p u b l i c image o f t h e c a s t e g roup as a w h o l e . S u r p r i s i n g l y , t h e s e p r o h i b i t i o n s a p p e a r e d t o be s t r o n g e r among t h e low c a s t e s t h a n among h i g h e r c a s t e s . Many T h a k u r s i n t h e s e c o n d B l o c k h a b i t u a l l y e a t b o t h meat and e g g s , and o c c a s i o n a l l y e v e n a Brahmin w o u l d a d m i t g i v i n g eggs t o h i s c h i l d r e n . Such p r a c t i c e s were a l m o s t n e v e r a d m i t t e d o p e n l y by low c a s t e s . A s e c o n d c o n t r i b u -t o r y f a c t o r may be t h e c u r r e n t p r o h i b i t i v e l y h i g h e r c o s t o f meat and egg p r o t e i n . I t c o s t s e a s i l y f o u r t o f i v e t i m e s the p r i c e o f a com-p a r a b l e mea l o f v e g e t a b l e p r o t e i n . They a r e r e a s o n a b l e i t e m s o f d i e t o n l y f o r w e a l t h y f a m i l i e s , and i t i s p r e c i s e l y among t h i s g r o u p t h a t c o n s u m p t i o n i s r i s i n g . R a i s i n g a v e r a g e r u r a l incomes t o t h e l e v e l where c o n s u m p t i o n o f a n i m a l p r o t e i n s i s a f i n a n c i a l l y r e a l i s t i c p r o p o s i t i o n w i l l be n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e the s t r e n g t h o f c u l t u r a l p r o -h i b i t i o n s can be a s s e s s e d . B a r r i e r s t o more w i d e s p r e a d a d o p t i o n o f f a m i l y p l a n n i n g p r a c t i c e s can o n l y be t e n t a t i v e l y a s s e s s e d f rom the l i m i t e d d a t a c o l l e c t e d . Many r e s p o n d e n t s were e i t h e r t o o young o r t o o o l d t o be c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e i s s u e . Among o t h e r s , o p p o s i t i o n t o t h e o b j e c t i v e o f l i m i t i n g f a m i l y s i z e was m i n i m a l . O n l y a s m a l l m i n o r i t y e x p r e s s e d any d i s a p p r o v a l , o r c l a i m e d t o want as many c h i l d r e n as p o s s i b l e . O t h e r f a c t o r s a p p e a r more i m m e d i a t e l y r e s t r i c t i n g . Most v i l l a g e r s know s o m e t h i n g o f f a m i l y p l a n n i n g b u t knowledge i s f a r f rom c o m p r e -h e n s i v e , p a r t i c u l a r l y among t h e l o w e r c a s t e s . The m a j o r i t y know o n l y o f s t e r i l i z a t i o n as a c o n t r a c e p t i v e t e c h n i q u e . G i v e n t h e r e a l f e a r o f t h i s o p e r a t i o n , and the e q u a l l y r e a l f e a r t h a t o n e ' s c h i l d r e n m i g h t d i e , t h i s t e c h n i q u e i s v i e w e d as a l a s t r e s o r t by most v i l l a g e r s . 201 Members of wealthier s t r a t a , who have a lower average incidence of i n f a n t mortality, also have a wider range of options open to them in b i r t h control. The widespread perception of s t e r i l i z a t i o n drives as d i r e c t e d only towards poor v i l l a g e r s , and not to e l i t e f a m i l i e s , reinforces scepticism as to motives and consequences. Among those respondents who could c i t e several techniques, t h e i r understanding of them was often vague and coloured with fear of t h e i r p o t e n t i a l dangers. At present, the technological inadequacies of current con-traception devices, and high infant m o r tality rates, appear to comprise the main b a r r i e r s to increased adoption of contraception, and not att i t u d e s towards optimal family s i z e . These b a r r i e r s are g r e a t l y exaggerated by poorly designed campaigns i n family planning, which tend to stress the values of l i m i t i n g family si z e while leaving most v i l l a g e r s ignorant of the s c i e n t i f i c and medical aspects of the various devices proposed. Limited applications for government c r e d i t and grant f a c i l -i t i e s r e f l e c t s both low commitment to invest i n other aspects of the programmes, and d i f f i c u l t i e s i n gaining access to loans and t h e i r repayment. Factors which l i m i t incentives to adopt new a g r i c u l t u r a l technology w i l l also reduce desire f o r c r e d i t f o r c a p i t a l investments. However, the repeated emphasis given by respondents to favouritism and corruption i n the administration of these schemes, suggests that these problems may constitute the most immediate b a r r i e r s to further u t i l i z a t i o n . Expressed reluctance to use new f a c i l i t i e s have t h e i r roots i n these experiences rather than i n values which oppose the use of c r e d i t or grants for c a p i t a l investment. These problems w i l l 202 be examined at length i n the following chapter concerned with resource c o n t r o l . In summary, l i m i t e d adoption of the: above projects can be accounted f o r i n large measure by two factors; - inadequacies i n extension education which l i m i t understanding of p o t e n t i a l advantages, and inadequacies i n technology which r e s t r i c t t h e i r u t i l i t y r e l a t i v e to more widely adopted pr o j e c t s . Attitudes, i n the s p e c i f i c sense of expressed d i s l i k e of the intended objectives of these pr o j e c t s , appear of n e g l i g i b l e s i g n i f i c a n c e . Conclusion An increase i n the persuasive impact of development programmes i n promoting innovation appears to be contingent upon major changes i n the manner of t h e i r introduction within the v i l l a g e communities. At present, the i n d i r e c t and often fragmented information which reaches the majority of v i l l a g e r s prompts l i t t l e r e l i a n c e i n i t s q u a l i t y as a basis for evaluating new proposals. The d i f f i c u l t and sometimes h o s t i l e r e l a t i o n s which characterise much of the i n t e r a c t i o n between v i l l a g e r s and o f f i c i a l s further amplifies scepticism i n the value of proposals which they support. The pronounced bias i n favour of e l i t e s i n i n i t i a t i n g new proposals o f f e r s l i t t l e encouragement for the majority of poorer v i l l a g e r s to see development programmes as r e l e -vant or p r a c t i c a l f o r themselves. A l l such conditions l i m i t the persuasive impact of new proposals, i r r e s p e c t i v e of t h e i r claimed advantages or a t t r i b u t e s . The same variables appear to underly v a r i a t i o n i n frequency of adoption of s p e c i f i c p r o j e c t s . Limited 203 preference expressed f or many new proposals can be d i r e c t l y a t t r i b u t e d to inadequate information on basic a t t r i b u t e s associated with them. As a r e s u l t , many v i l l a g e r s lack any r a t i o n a l basis for adopting such proposals, or for r e j e c t i n g t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s , beyond the f a c t that extension workers pressure them. Only when these conditions for appraisal of new proposals are changed w i l l a ttitudes towards s p e c i f i c proposals have s i g n i f i c a n c e as determinants of innovation. CHAPTER SEVEN FEASIBILITY AND CHOICE Access to input f a c i l i t i e s necessary for the implementation of preferred a l t e r n a t i v e s comprises the t h i r d set of parameters bounding any choice s i t u a t i o n . The scope of f e a s i b l e a l t e r n a t i v e s i s necessarily l i m i t e d by the extent of appropriate f a c i l i t i e s which a given chooser can command, and the constraints imposed on access to those which are not d i r e c t l y subject to a chooser's c o n t r o l . The theory of choice behaviour proposed here i s concerned with the s o c i a l processes which influence access to f a c i l i t i e s p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e within a community. Central issues i n t h i s analysis are l o c i of c o n t r o l over relevant f a c i l i t i e s , d i f f e r e n t i a l access to them, and t h e i r a l l o c a t i o n between competing a l t e r n a t i v e s for t h e i r u t i l i z a t i o n . Control over input f a c i l i t i e s , as with information flow, constitutes a p o t e n t i a l basis for power to influence the actions which are f e a s i b l e for others within a community. The capacity to exert such influence depends on the range of f a c i l i t i e s c o n t r o l l e d , and also the extent and d i r e c t i o n of any sanctions which may be con-tingent upon how they are a l l o c a t e d . A further assumption here i s that information flow concerning t h e i r a l l o c a t i o n i s a c r i t i c a l factor i n the a b i l i t y of others to impose such sanctions. This i n turn i s l i k e l y to promote vested i n t e r e s t s i n r e s t r i c t i n g information flow i n order to r e t a i n and strengthen independence of c o n t r o l . The following hypotheses are based on the general assumption 204 205 that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who exercise control over the d i s t r i b u t i o n of f a c i l i t i e s w i l l determine the d i r e c t i o n of biased access to such f a c i l i t i e s , and also p r e f e r e n t i a l a l l o c a t i o n of f a c i l i t i e s between competing a l t e r n a t i v e s . 8) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l favour close associates i ) i n the extent of access, and i i ) i n the conditions under which access i s granted. 9) Where there are competing objectives for u t i l i z a t i o n of input f a c i l i t i e s , those who control such f a c i l i t i e s w i l l a l l o c a t e them towards objectives which favour close associates. 10) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l obstruct access to them f or any a l t e r n a t i v e s perceived as i n c o n f l i c t with the objectives of close associates. These hypotheses r e f l e c t the same behaviour strategies which underly control over information flow, but with the a d d i t i o n a l factor of competing p r i o r i t i e s f o r u t i l i z a t i o n of f a c i l i t i e s . The condition placed on these hypotheses i s that the actions of those who exercise control w i l l be influenced by the d i r e c t i o n of sanctions which can be imposed by others. The importance accorded to close associates i s based on the general assumption that mutual o b l i g a t i o n s , and the expectation of r e c i p r o c a l support and favours, w i l l be more l i k e l y to p r e v a i l among them than among s o c i a l l y d i s t a n t persons. Relevant F a c i l i t i e s A wide range of government f a c i l i t i e s are made available to 206 the v i l l a g e s to support investment i n a l l aspects of the development programmes. These include provision of c r e d i t schemes and loans through Rural Cooperative S o c i e t i e s , and c r e d i t f or a g r i c u l t u r a l supplies through government-operated stores. Loans and grants are a v a i l a b l e for investment i n a g r i c u l t u r a l equipment, and to finance p r i v a t e and communal amenities. Special a i d schemes are provided for scheduled castes, and also funds for r u r a l works programmes to expand supplementary employment opportunities for the landless. In addition, l e g i s l a t i o n was passed to consolidate fragmented landholdings, and to promote the d i s t r i b u t i o n of v i l l a g e common lands for c u l t i v a t i o n by landless f a m i l i e s . R e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the d i s t r i b u t i o n of government funds and materials within the v i l l a g e s , and also for the implementation of l e g i s l a t i o n at v i l l a g e l e v e l , i s vested p r i m a r i l y i n l o c a l Block o f f i c i a l s and v i l l a g e leaders. As a r e s u l t , they are i n a p o s i t i o n to exert s i g n i f i c a n t influence over the access of others to major input f a c i l i t i e s for the development programmes. Access to Input F a c i l i t i e s The f i r s t concern here i s with the s o c i a l determinants of d i f f e r e n t i a l access to f a c i l i t i e s by i n d i v i d u a l v i l l a g e r s . The t h e o r e t i c a l assumption examined below i s that the locus of control over input f a c i l i t i e s within the s o c i a l hierarchy of a community constitutes a c r i t i c a l determinant of d i f f e r e n t i a l access, i n that: 8) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l favour close associates i) i n the extent of access, and i i ) i n the conditions under which access i s granted. 207 V i l l a g e leaders are i n v a r i a b l y drawn from the e l i t e sector of wealthy, and higher caste v i l l a g e s , and they associate p r i m a r i l y with members of t h i s stratum. Patterns of p r e f e r e n t i a l association with l o c a l Block o f f i c i a l s i s s i m i l a r l y concentrated among the incumbent Proudhans and t h e i r close supporters. Hence, i t i s predicted that close f a c t i o n associates of the Proudhans, and others of s i m i l a r higher caste, w i l l have favoured access to a l l a v a i l a b l e input f a c i l i t i e s . The only exception to t h i s pattern i s expected i n the two instances where the Sarpanch, or person who controls the cooperative society, i s a promi-nent r i v a l of the incumbent Proudhan. Here i t i s predicted that supporters of the r i v a l f a c t i o n w i l l receive favoured access to the s o c i e t i e s . The second p r e d i c t i o n i s that applicants from other s t r a t a w i l l be subject to greater demands or constraints imposed on them as a condition of access. This further p r e d i c t i o n w i l l be examined separately. Three factors are considered i n t h i s a n alysis, - the d i s t r i b u t i o n of knowledge of f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e , the proportion of applicants who are rejected, and the r e l a t i v e amount of funds or materials they receive. a) Information Information flow concerning new f a c i l i t i e s i s examined i n the previous chapter, and so w i l l be reviewed only b r i e f l y here. 1 D i f f e r e n t i a l knowledge gives a d i r e c t i n d i c a t i o n of which sectors of a community have been a c t i v e l y encouraged to make use of new f a c i l i t i e s provided, and which sectors have been r e l a t i v e l y or t o t a l l y neglected. See Chapter Five "Information and Choice" e s p e c i a l l y r -pp. 151 - 153. 208 The d i s t r i b u t i o n of knowledge i s c l e a r l y consistent with the general p r e d i c t i o n of favoured access by close associates. Two f a c i l i t i e s which are r e a d i l y observable are the cooperative s o c i e t i e s and the Block stores, but knowledge of them i s s t i l l not u n i v e r s a l . Many respondents who d i d know of the l o c a l s o c i e t i e s were unaware of the benefits or requirements of membership. This ignorance was concen-tr a t e d among the middle and lower castes. They have received l i t t l e d i r e c t encouragement to take out membership or to p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y i n them. Ignorance of other funds which are not r e a d i l y observable provides more d i r e c t evidence of the lack of encouragement given to the majority of v i l l a g e r s to u t i l i z e them. Scarcely f i v e percent of a l l respondents mentioned tac c a v i loans when asked to l i s t f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e through the Block. No e f f o r t has been made by those who administer the scheme to f a m i l i a r i z e v i l l a g e r s generally with i t s provisions. The same i s true for the s p e c i a l a i d schemes for scheduled castes. Few of the low caste v i l l a g e r s whom they are intended to bene f i t , knew of them. Informed o f f i c i a l s and v i l l a g e leaders have l i t t l e incentive to spread such knowledge, some i n f a c t openly v o i c i n g t h e i r disapproval of these 'welfare handouts' to the Harijan. Of the grants a v a i l a b l e to i n d i v i d u a l s , only those for house repa i r s were widely known. Even here many respondents were unclear about c r i t e r i a for e l i g i b i l i t y , how to apply for them, or the amount to which they are e n t i t l e d . The immediate r e s u l t of t h i s p r e v a i l i n g ignorance among the lower s t r a t a i s that the proportion of applications from them i s r e s t r i c t e d , i r r e s p e c t i v e of t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n getting such funds, or 209 the consideration given to t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n s . Further e f f e c t s are to reduce competition for l i m i t e d grants and to reduce the pressures which might be brought to bear on o f f i c i a l s for t h e i r more equitable d i s t r i b u t i o n . b) Favoured Applicants The second issue considered here i s favouritism towards d i f f e r e n t applicants. I t i s predicted that applicants who are close associates or status equals of those who d i s t r i b u t e funds w i l l more frequently be successful, and w i l l receive larger amounts of any funds a v a i l a b l e . The following tables show d i f f e r e n t i a l a l l o c a t i o n of funds, f i r s t l y from v i l l a g e cooperative s o c i e t i e s , and subsequently from the Block store, taccavi and bank loans, and the special-purpose grants. Close f a c t i o n associates of the v i l l a g e leaders and o f f i c i a l s who control the f a c i l i t i e s evidence s i g n i f i c a n t l y greater proportional access, and receive larger i n d i v i d u a l amounts of any funds a v a i l a b l e , compared to other sectors of the communities. Applications from lower castes are more often rejected or r e s t r i c t e d to minimal amounts of funds. The locus of control over cooperative s o c i e t i e s varies between the v i l l a g e s . In three v i l l a g e s the Sarpanch, who controls the society, i s a r e l a t i v e of the Proudhan, but in the other two he i s a prominent opponent. In these l a t t e r cases i t i s predicted that r i v a l supporters w i l l have p r e f e r e n t i a l access. The data summarized i n Table XXXII indicate marked differences i n access to loans from the cooperatives i n the d i r e c t i o n predicted. Close associates are favoured with respect to frequency and amount of loans. Where the Sarpanch i s 210 Table XXXII. Access to Credit F a c i l i t i e s : Cooperative Societies a) Access C o n t r o l l i n g A f f i l i a t i o n of Sarpanch Proudhan's Supporter R i v a l Faction Supporter Faction and Caste Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total P. R. H. M. L. Total Access % % % % % % % % % % % % Society unknown 3 12 8 28 35 25 0 0 5 22 18 15 Loan refused 0 6 0 1 8 3 0 0 0 2 8 4 Loan received 59 21 29 18 10 20 34 50 28 27 20 27 b) Amount of Loan Received Amount % % % % % % % Q. "O % % % % Rs 100 or less 3 9 4 6 4 5 12 14 14 12 11 12 Rs 101 450 30 6 17 7 4 9 22 18 9 15 7 12 Over Rs 450 26 6 8 5 2 6 0 18 5 0 2 3 Total Respondents 34 34 24 85 127 304 17 22 21 59 117 236 c) Amount of Loans by Landholding; C o n t r o l l i n g A f f i l i a t i o n of Sarpanch Proudhan's supporter R i v a l Faction Supporter Land i n Acres Land i n Acres Amount of Loan 0-2 3-8 9+ 0-2 3-8 9+ % % % % % % No loan 91 68 56 82 56 70 Rs 100 or les s 3 7^  8 11 14 12 Rs 101 to 450 3 16N 22 6 24 12 Over Rs 450 3 9 14 1 6 6 Tota l Respondents 173 103 27 151 70 16 211 a f f i l i a t e d with the Proudhans' supporters, these supporters evidence the highest access to loans, almost double that of any other sector. Conversely, where the Sarpanch is leader of the r i v a l faction, these r i v a l supporters enjoy the highest access, a third as much again as the Proudhans' factions. As the number of loans varies, so also does the relative amount of credit allocated. In the f i r s t case, the Proudhans' supporters have overwhelmingly the most frequent access to large loans of Rs 500 and above. When control is vested in r i v a l leaders, i t is r i v a l supporters who receive most of the large loans with none going to the Proudhans' groups. Other significant differences in patterns of allocation reflect differences in the economic status of Sarpanchas, and the locus of their support within the communities. As predicted, the middle and low castes are relatively disadvantaged in both cases, but consistently less so where the r i v a l factions dominate the society. Here, they are twice as li k e l y to receive credit. Poor farmers are also more likely to receive credit than when Proudhans control the societies. The advantages generally enjoyed by large landowners appears to be as much a function of their association with village leaders who usually control credit, as their economic standing. Two factors are involved here. Rival faction leaders on average have smaller landholdings, and hence may associate more closely with middle sized landowners than do the Proudhans. Of greater significance is variation in the bases of support within the village communities. The incumbent Proudhans generally draw support among the village elites, while support for their opponents is drawn more from the disfavoured strata. Control over 212 the cooperatives o f f e r s a s i g n i f i c a n t base for dispensing patronage to win supporters within the v i l l a g e s . The second f a c i l i t y considered i s c r e d i t f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l supplies from the government seedstores. These are c o n t r o l l e d d i r e c t l y by l o c a l Block o f f i c i a l s . The p r e d i c t i o n i n t h i s case i s that patterns of access w i l l p a r a l l e l favoured association with Block o f f i c i a l s , namely that the Proudhans' associates and v i l l a g e e l i t e s w i l l be favoured, to the r e l a t i v e neglect of the lower s t r a t a . The data summar-ized i n Table XXXIII are strongly consistent with t h i s p r e d i c t i o n . The Proudhans' supporters and higher- castes generally receive greater encouragement to u t i l i z e the store, and evidence more frequent access than do the lower s t r a t a . Middle and low castes, who comprise generally smaller landowners, have not u t i l i z e d the store to nearly the same extent. This i s true equally of the c r e d i t scheme, although t h i s i s intended p r i m a r i l y as a service for poor farmers. The sparse data on tac c a v i loans r e f l e c t the dearth of knowledge of the scheme among a l l sectors of the v i l l a g e communities. A t o t a l of only eight loans were recorded among a l l respondents together. Five of these went to the fourth v i l l a g e , these including a l l three major loans of Rs 10,000. Given the l i m i t e d a p p l i c a t i o n f o r loans, the analysis of t h e i r d i s t r i b u t i o n can only be ten t a t i v e . The p r e d i c t i o n of favoured access by close associates of the v i l l a g e leaders i s supported. As shown i n Table XXXIII(c) h a l f of the loans went to supporters of the Proudhans. Four major loans were received either by the Proudhans d i r e c t l y or by t h e i r immediate r e l a t i v e s . Two loans were received by r i v a l f a c t i o n supporters, but here again they enjoy Table XXXIII. Access to Credit F a c i l i t i e s from the Block a) Use of Agricultural Supply Store Use of Store Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total o, o, o, Q. , o, o, o "5 *o T5 ' *6 "o Not used 56 53 58 81 81 Paid cash 13 8 9 3 3 Supplies on credit 31 39 33 16 18 Total farmers 48 49 43 118 187 b) Use of Supply Store by Landholding Land in Acres 0-2 3-8 9+ % Q. O % Store used 19 35 53 Total farmers 221 173 45 c) Taccavi Loans Received* Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Loans Number of Recipients Refused 0 4 0 0 1 Rs 1-450 0 1 0 0 0 Rs 451-1000 0 0 0 1 1 Rs 1001-5000 1 1 . 0 0 0 Over Rs 5000 3 0 0 0 0 Total farmers 48 49 43 118 187 d) Bank Loans Received* Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Loans Number of Recipients Rs 1-450 0 0 0 0 0 Rs 451-1000 0 0 0 0 2 Rs 1001-2000 0 1 0 2 0 Rs 2001-5000 0 0 0 0 0 Over Rs 5000 2 0 0 0 0 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 *Number of recipients too small for percentage distribution. 214 e s p e c i a l l y close association with senior o f f i c i a l s at the Block. One had been the previous Proudhan at the time when he received the loan, and the other was currently the acting Proudhan i n the v i l l a g e , the incumbent having been removed from o f f i c e on fraud charges. Both these r e c i p i e n t s thus had favoured contact with o f f i c i a l s which i s not generally shared by r i v a l supporters. The few complaints of applications being rejected a l l came from the same v i l l a g e where three major loans were received. Members of the r i v a l f a c t i o n accused the incumbent Proudhan of d e l i b e r a t e l y obstructing t h e i r applications by r e f u s i n g to give them information on how to apply, or to endorse or forward any forms to the Block headquarters. These complaints, together with the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of successful applicants, emphasise the importance, i f not the necessity, of close contact or ' p u l l ' with senior Block o f f i c i a l s to secure these large development loans. V i l l a g e r s generally are neither informed nor encouraged to apply, and without the backing of favoured v i l l a g e leaders, t h e i r applications appear to have l i t t l e chance of success. Direct a p p l i c a t i o n to development banks o f f e r s a p o t e n t i a l source of government loans which i s independent of the Block organi-zat i o n . This avenue, however, also proved e x c l u s i o n i s t i n operation, being dependent e i t h e r on large personal c o l l a t e r a l , or references from prominent v i l l a g e leaders. In t o t a l , only seven bankloans were recorded, these scattered over the f i v e v i l l a g e s . Of these, three of the larges t went to the same persons who received large ta c c a v i loans. Four smaller loans were given to middle and low caste applicants who used various c o l l a t e r a l , including a small shop, wealthier r e l a t i v e s , 215 or a son with a city job. These are exceptional cases; for the most part villagers lack sufficient collateral to raise a bank loan. The need for local referees also leads back directly to village leaders who command sufficient economic standing to give personal surety for bank loans to other villagers. They are unlikely to stand as guarantors for persons outside their own cir c l e of close associates. The vast majority of villagers remain dependent on cooperative societies, or on credit and grants controlled through the Blocks, for investment funds. Grants Outright government grants to individuals provide a further source of investment capital. These are not subject to repayment and hence do not require personal collateral. They are intended primarily to benefit the poorer strata who may be less able to meet credit obligations or to finance investments through personal savings. The three grants available to individual applicants at the time of the study included vegetable seeds, grants for house repairs, and the special Harijan Aid Fund. Access to each of them i s shown in Table XXXIV. Distribution of vegetable seeds is directly under the control of village level workers, and the expected pattern of differential access by favoured associates is readily apparent. All' village families are eligible for at least one package, or a mixture of seeds. In practice both knowledge of the scheme and frequency with which seeds were received declines progressively from the favoured Proudhans' supporters and other higher castes, to r i v a l factions, middle and Table XXXIV. . Access to Grant F a c i l i t i e s a) Receipt of Free Vegetable Seeds Faction and Caste P. R. M. H. L. % % o, "6 % % Received seeds 80 38 43 29 15 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 b) Receipt of House Repair Grants Faction and Caste Grant P. R. H. M. L. % % % % % Grant refused 2 14 6 11 18 Grant received 14 11 15 6 16 c) Amount of Grant % % % % % Below Rs 50 2 2 2 1 3 Rs 50 8 9 7 4 8 Below Rs 100 2 0 2 0 2 Rs 100 2 0 4 1 3' Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 *Often an Rs 20 deposit was demanded to endorse the application, d) Application for Harijan Fund** Experience Number of Low Caste Respondents Application not forwarded 2 Rejected at the Block 3 Allocated but not paid 4 Received but repayment demanded 1 Received only after court case 1 Received - no complaint 1 **0nly low castes are eligible for this fund. 217 l a s t l y the low castes, scarcely any of whom received seeds. The female worker i n the t h i r d v i l l a g e commented that the Proudhan had warned her against r i v a l s i n the hamlet as uncouth and abusive towards women, so she never went there. Not s u r p r i s i n g l y none re-ceived any seeds. Grants for house r e p a i r s are d i f f i c u l t to analyse d i r e c t l y , since only f a m i l i e s with extensive property damage were e l i g i b l e for funds. No systematic data were gathered on property damage. Table XXXIV (b) indicates that roughly equal proportions of v i l l a g e r s from d i f f e r e n t s t r a t a claimed to have received repair grants. This may be biased downwards for the upper s t r a t a . Favoured associates of the Proudhans were widely alleged to have received grants to which they were not e n t i t l e d , but they are u n l i k e l y to admit t h i s . The propor-t i o n of applicants who were refused grants does c l o s e l y r e f l e c t patterns of favoured association. Only one applicant (2%) was refused among the Proudhans' supporters, but the frequency i s much higher among r i v a l s and low castes. Discriminatory exclusion was conspicu-ous i n the t h i r d and fourth v i l l a g e s . A large number of grants were d i s t r i b u t e d but none were a l l o c a t e d to the hamlets which are dominated by r i v a l f a c t i o n s . The f i r s t v i l l a g e represents an extreme case. None of the ten applicants received any funds. The Proudhan denied that anything had been done i n the v i l l a g e , but the l o c a l v i l l a g e worker claimed that she personally forwarded an ap p l i c a t i o n from one family. Her suggestion that the Proudhan and Block o f f i c e r were withholding grant money, received unexpected support some time l a t e r from a newspaper a r t i c l e which accused l o c a l o f f i c i a l s of fraud i n 218 the d i s t r i b u t i o n of grant money. Under t h i s increased threat of external scrutiny, the grants were r a p i d l y processed and s h o r t l y afterwards many v i l l a g e r s received s u b s t a n t i a l sums. The l a s t source of grants, Harijan Aid, i s a s p e c i a l case i n that only low castes are e l i g i b l e . The l i m i t e d concern of l o c a l o f f i c i a l s i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of such funds i s indicated by the widespread ignorance of the scheme, and the fa c t that ten of the twelve applications were rejected, and the other two were granted only with great reluctance and delay. In summary, d i f f e r e n t i a l access to a l l f a c i l i t i e s i s c l o s e l y consistent with the general hypothesis. Close associates of whoever controls the f a c i l i t i e s - whether i t be the Sarpanch, the Proudhan, or l o c a l o f f i c i a l s - are c o n s i s t e n t l y more l i k e l y to receive funds and i n larger amounts than other applicants. The e l i t e stratum from which the leaders are drawn have comparatively ready access to a l l av a i l a b l e f a c i l i t i e s . The poor and lower caste sectors, who lack any close as s o c i a t i o n with l o c a l leaders or o f f i c i a l s , are the l e a s t favoured i n access to any funds c o n t r o l l e d through them. This applies even to grants s p e c i f i c a l l y intended to b e n e f i t the lower s t r a t a and which do not require repayment. Conditions of Access The r e l a t e d question examined below concerns conditions under which access to input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l be granted. The assumption made here i s that patterns of as s o c i a t i o n with those who c o n t r o l f a c i l i t i e s w i l l be a c r i t i c a l determinant, not only of access, but also the conditions of access. This i s stated as the hypothesis that: 219 8 i i ) Persons who exercise control over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l favour close associates in the conditions under which access is granted, relative to other applicants. The specific prediction in this case is that applicants who are not closely associated with village leaders or o f f i c i a l s w i l l experience consistently greater constraints and demands imposed upon them as conditions for getting funds. Measurement of conditions of access is based on the complaints raised by individual respondents. The prevalence of complaints in relation to a l l investment f a c i l i t i e s provides a broad indicator of differential constraints facing applicants. The following Table XXXV shows the incidence of trouble experienced by different sectors of the village communities in appli-cation for a l l major credit and grant f a c i l i t i e s . Data on the cooper-ative societies are again divided in terms of the faction a f f i l i a t i o n of the Sarpanch. Two features are apparent from these tables. The incidence of complaints is very widespread. No one f a c i l i t y entirely escapes such criticisms, irrespective of the locus of control. Secondly, the incidence of constraints or d i f f i c u l t i e s encountered in application for funds systematically increases among those re-spondents who have limited association with controllers. Complaints raised against cooperative societies were of two main kinds; excessive delay in processing applications, or outright fraud in the distribution of funds. Together, these were endorsed by almost a quarter of recipients. A frequent cause of frustration was having to petition the Sarpanch many times before even gaining an audience with him to have an application considered. One person 220 Table XXXV. Conditions of Access to A l l F a c i l i t i e s by Faction and Caste a) Conditions of Access to Cooperative Society, C o n t r o l l i n g A f f i l i a t i o n of Sarpanch Condition of Proudhans 1 Supporter Faction and Caste R i v a l Faction Supporter Faction and Caste L. Access P. o, *o R. % H. % M. L. % % P. % R. % H. % M. % Used, no trouble 90 72 86 80 78 33 82 83 88 Used, long wait 0 14 14 7 0 50 18 17 6 Used, cheated 10 14 0 13 21 17 0 0 6 Tot a l users 20 7 7 15 14 6 11 6 16 b) Conditions of Acces s to Block Store Condition of Faction and Caste Access P. R. H. M. L. % % % % % No problems 100 61 78 68 45 Long wait 0 4 0 0 5 Re-sorting required . 0 13 0 0 24 Poor q u a l i t y given 0 9 0 4 0 Cheated 0 13 22 2 17 26 Total users 21 23 18 2 ,2 38 c) Condition o f Access to Taccavi Loans * Condition of Access Received, no trouble Delay/bribes Faction and Caste P/' R. H. M. L. Number of Recipients 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Condition of Access d) Condition of Access to House-Repair Grants* Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Number of Recipients Correct amount received 5 5 3 4 10 Extortion/bribes 2 1 4 5 24 Refused 1 8 3 16 44 80 12 8 25 e) Conditions of Access to Harijan Aid Fund (For Low Castes Only) Condition of Number of Recipients (Low Caste)* Access Received, no trouble Bribe demanded Refund demanded Allo c a t e d , but not paid Refused 1 1 1 4 5 *Where number of r e c i p i e n t s i s very, small over several categories, only frequency of d i s t r i b u t i o n s are shown. 221 recounted having to return eighteen times and s i t at the door of the Sarpanch's house before h i s request was considered. Most saw such treatment as discriminatory, complaining that 'big people', or those who bribed the Sarpanch, were received r a p i d l y while others were forced to keep coming back. In e f f e c t , the strategy amounts to a covert demand f o r ju s t such a bribe i n return for services. Usually t h i s was cheaper than l o s i n g several days' wages i n coming and going. Other demands imposed on r e c i p i e n t s were more overt. They took the form of f a l s i f y i n g records to i n f l a t e the amounts taken or repayments due, and overcharging on i n t e r e s t rates. I l l i t e r a t e v i l l a g e r s are p a r t i c u l a r l y vulnerable to such p r a c t i c e s since they are unable to check the records for themselves. In the second v i l l a g e , according to the Proudhan, the society has been closed down f o r some years because of fraud in v o l v i n g paper transactions, and charging customers 12% i n t e r e s t instead of the current 9 1/2% set by the government. The incidence of such complaints from customers c l o s e l y r e f l e c t s patterns of association with the incumbent Sarpanch and t h e i r d i f f e r e n t i a l bases for support within the communities. Neither the long waiting period nor the incidence of fraud are uniformly experienced. Where the Sarpanch i s a r e l a t i v e of the Proudhan, no complaints of delay are rai s e d by h i s associates, although they are very frequent among r i v a l s and neutral groups. Similar experiences among lower castes are combined with more serious complaints of fraud. In the instances where r i v a l s control the s o c i e t i e s , the incidence of complaints are reversed. Accusations of excessive delay and " 222 fraud are several times more frequent among the Proudhans 1 supporters than among other respondents. Complaints are also fewer among lower caste customers, r e f l e c t i n g the d i f f e r e n t i a l bases of support sought by these r i v a l leaders. Experiences with use of the Block a g r i c u l t u r a l supply store are e s s e n t i a l l y s i m i l a r . Accusations were r a i s e d of long delays i n processing applications for supplies, and i n accepting seed grain proffered to s e t t l e c r e d i t , and also of fraud perpetrated against users. Such complaints are rare among the Proudhans' supporters, but are raised by a near majority of r i v a l supporters and more than h a l f the customers among lower castes. Delaying t a c t i c s were again openly recognized as covert pressure for a consideration by l o c a l o f f i c i a l s i n return for prompt service. In the words of one respondent, he kept coming and going and being rejected, u n t i l f i n a l l y they took h i s money. Cash settlements for credited seeds i s one and one-quarter times the p r i c e of seedgrain at the time of issue, o f f e r i n g a p o t e n t i a l p r o f i t of twenty-five percent f o r the store operator over recorded cash sales. More serious accusations of fraud, r a i s e d by almost a t h i r d of a l l customers, e n t a i l e d f a l s i f i c a t i o n of records and rec e i p t s , these s i m i l a r to alleged p r a c t i c e s i n cooperative s o c i e t i e s . Such p r a c t i c e s are c l e a r l y l u c r a t i v e f o r the low-paid o f f i c i a l s who operate the stores. The r i s k s of dis c l o s u r e , or of v i l l a g e r s proving such accusations before senior o f f i c i a l s , are small. V i l l a g e r s for t h e i r part, were frequently reluctant to use the store again. These exper-iences underlie some of the antipathy and d i s t r u s t expressed towards o f f i c i a l s which were apparent i n the preceding examination of persuasion 223 with respect to new proposals. The few taccavi loans recorded were allocated mainly to a select group who enjoy close association with Block o f f i c i a l s . Predictably, they are the least likely to experience pressures or extortion from o f f i c i a l s . Yet even here, one of the eight recipients complained both of delaying tactics and attempted bribery by the issuing clerk. Allocation of the two remaining grants for house repairs and Harijan aid are both in the hands of village Proudhans. In both cases there is considerable evidence of demands being imposed upon recipients. Proudhans were widely accused of deducting f i f t y percent or more from government-grants before distributing them to applicants. These complaints were raised "most frequently by low caste respondents who are least l i k e l y to enjoy close association with Proudhans. Harijan Aid, for which only lower castes are eli g i b l e , appears to be particularly subject to misappropriation. Only two applicants actually received any money. A l l but one of the applicants complained that they had experienced extortionate demands from the Proudhan or o f f i c i a l s as a condition of getting a grant. If the Harijan fund is viewed as the equivalent of taccavi loans for wealthier villagers, the difference in treatment experienced by the applicants is very apparent. Low castes are least able to secure their rights, even when funds are specifically allocated for them. In summary, these combined accounts strongly support the above predictions. Access to a l l government credit and grant f a c i l i t i e s is highly restricted and subject to significant constraints. F a c i l i t i e s 224 d i f f e r only i n the extent of such complaints and the sectors most d i r e c t l y a ffected. Members of the lower strata, who are l e a s t l i k e l y to enjoy favoured association with any of the persons who c o n t r o l these f a c i l i t i e s , generally experience the l e a s t access to them and the most demands. This varies only where the cooperative s o c i e t i e s were c o n t r o l l e d by r i v a l f a c t i o n leaders who seek t h e i r support. This exception indicates that t h e i r general exclusion from investment f a c i l i t i e s cannot be a t t r i b u t e d only to factors of poverty. I t applies equally to grants which are not subject to repayment or requirement of c o l l a t e r a l . Their exclusion i s p r i m a r i l y a function of s o c i a l b a r r i e r s imposed by those who c o n t r o l the funds. These p u b l i c funds appear to function as the private property of v i l l a g e r s , dispensed by them as a form of patronage to t h e i r associates within the communities. Moneylenders A c r i t i c a l index of inadequate access to government c r e d i t and grants i s the continuing importance of l o c a l moneylenders as a source of finance. Access to them i s generally easy, r e q u i r i n g l i t t l e c o l l a t -e r a l , but the i n t e r e s t rates h a b i t u a l l y charged exceed by some four to eight times the current rate for government sponsored c r e d i t (see Table XXXVI (a)). These usurious i n t e r e s t rates have forced many of the poorer v i l l a g e r s i n t o permanent debt bondage r e l a t i o n s with money-lenders. I t was to break such r e l a t i o n s , as much as to provide i n -vestment c a p i t a l , that r u r a l cooperative s o c i e t i e s were f i r s t established. Their f a i l u r e i s evident from the f a c t that h a l f of a l l respondents have borrowed from moneylenders. This i s more than twice the number using cooperative s o c i e t i e s or government a g r i c u l t u r a l supply stores. 225 Table XXXVI. Credit From Moneylenders a) Interest Paid % Total Loans Interest Rate 10% 24% (2 pice per rupee per month) 60% 36% (3 pice per rupee per month) 23% 72% (6 pice per rupee per month) 7% land or labour given b) Credit from Moneylenders Amt. of Credit Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Tota] Q. % % % % % None 76 67 75 58 32 50 Rs 100 or less 10 14 11 15 23 18 Rs 101 to 450 12 11 6 19 25 19 Rs 451 to 1000 2 5 6 7 16 10 Over Rs. 1000 0 3 2 1 4 3 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 c) Loans from Moneylender and Cooperative Society Sources of Loans Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. % % % % % Neither 39 45 60 47 27 Moneylender only 10 21 11 30 51 Both 12 12 15 12 17 Cooperatives only 39 21 13 11 5 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 226 Villagers having least access to government credit f a c i l i t i e s are most likely to make extensive use of moneylenders. The proportions using moneylenders varies in inverse relation to favoured association with o f f i c i a l s and village leaders. The Proudhans1 supporters and neutral higher castes are least likely to use them, while the dis-favoured low castes use them far more than any other sector, and they generally borrow larger amounts. They are five times more like l y to rely on credit solely from moneylenders than are the Proudhans1 supporters. This inverse relation indicates that money-lenders function to a significant extent as alternative sources of credit. Their extensive use by the lower strata emphasises that limited application'for government credit does not reflect lack of need for credit. Nor does i t reflect an ina b i l i t y to repay such loans, since they must repay large loans at far higher interest rates to moneylenders. It indicates rather the extent of discriminatory 2 exclusion from government f a c i l i t i e s . Whatever the reasons that restrict the access of lower strata to government credit and grant f a c i l i t i e s , their ultimate effect i s not to deny credit but to render i t vastly more expensive. The pro-portion of lower strata who have in fact borrowed money is higher than for any other sector of the village communities. The c r i t i c a l difference "A possible reason for this, hinted at by several respondents but d i f f i c u l t to demonstrate, is that wealthy villagers u t i l i z e their easier access to cooperatives to finance their own moneylending ac t i v i t i e s . They are able to borrow money at low interest and reloan i t at four times this rate to others who are denied access to government credit. More widespread extension of loans directly to the low strata would undermine this ^ .enterprise. 227 is that two-thirds of such loans are financed at quadruple the rate of interest paid by favoured sectors. A further necessary consequence is that the price of even modest investment in development programmes is much higher in real terms for the lower strata, this not counting relative significance in relation to incomes. Personal Loans Briefly considered here is the extent to which personal loans between friends potentially offer an additional source of investment funds. Their significance within the village economy is indicated by the frequency with which they are sought. Half the respondents had taken loans from friends during the previous two years or so. These loans were almost always given without extra demands -or any interest charges, beyond the expectation that the principal loan would be repaid. In practice, these loans appeared to be treated quite separately from either government credit or commercial loans. They are not generally utilized for investment capital, and the incidence of seeking loans from friends is unrelated to access to government credit. Their value appeared to l i e in their role as social insurance rather than an in-vestment capital. Two-thirds of a l l loans taken were for domestic emergencies. A further feature of personal loans is that, over time, they are generally both reciprocal and equal. While no interest is formally charged on such loans, they are given on the expectation that reciprocal financial aid w i l l be given when asked, as usually happens. The dissociation between personal loans and commercial inter-ests i s further emphasised by the near absence of any joint investment or joint purchase of expensive equipment. As shown in Table XXXIX 228 Table XXXVII. Personal Loans Given Over Previous 5 Years a) Amount of Personal Loans by Faction and Caste Amount of Loan.: Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total % % % % % % None 68 52 62 49 45 50 Rs 1-20 12 25 11 32 43 33 Rs 21-50 0 9 11 8 6 7 Rs 51-100 8 5 7 3 3 4 Rs 101-500 12 9 7 8 3 6 Over Rs 500 0 0 2 0 0 0 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 b) Amount of Personal Loan by Landholding Amount of Loan Land i n Acres 0-2 3-5 6-8 9+ % % % % None 46 . 54 59 59 Rs 1-20 40 31 13 12 Rs 21-50 6 4 11 9 Rs 51-100 4 3 6 9 Rs 101-500 4 8 10 9 Over Rs 500 0 0 0 2 Total Respondents 324 112 61 43 c) Personal Loans by Commercial Loans Commercial Loans No Yes &• 9-Personal Loans No 47 57 Yes 53 43 229 Table XXXVIII. Exchange of Personal Loans a) Proportion Who Give and Receive Loans Received Given No Yes No 42% 8% Yes 15% 35% b) Amount of Personal Loans Exchanged Received Given Number of Recipients None 1-20 21-50 51-100 Over None 225 28 2 4 11 Rs 1-20 50 125 1 0 0 Rs 21-50 10 7 19 0 0 Rs 51-100 6 3 5 9 0 Over Rs 100 15 4 1 4 11 None given or taken 42% Equal amount exchanged 30% Small discrepancy 18% Large discrepancy - no interest 4% Large discrepancy - interest charged 6% Table XXXIX. Joint Investment Tried - no problems 2% Tried - quarrelled 1% Suggestion rejected 7% Never considered 24% No money 25% Fear trouble 27% Dislike 14% Total Respondents 540 230 close to h a l f the respondents expressed d i s t r u s t of any such cooper-ative ventures. The majority had never considered j o i n t purchase, and the hypothetical question was merely dismissed with a shrug. Among a l l sectors of the communities, loans between friends are not viewed as c a p i t a l f o r investment but as security i n times of trouble or seasonal f i n a n c i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s . I t i s t h i s feature of backstop se c u r i t y which most explains the apparent discrepancy between w i l l i n g -ness to give loans but almost t o t a l r e j e c t i o n of the idea of cooper-ative enterprises. Taking personal loans on a commercial basis might undermine the r i g h t to expect a i d on a non-commercial basis i n times of need. This reluctance to involve commercial i n t e r e s t s i n s t r i c t l y personal loans emphasises that any j o i n t investment ventures among poorer farmers need to be arranged through commercial c r e d i t i n s t i -t u tions rather than on an informal b a s i s . Under such arrangements, repayment obl i g a t i o n s would be towards the c r e d i t i n s t i t u t i o n s rather than d i r e c t l y to fr i e n d s . However, the cooperative s o c i e t i e s are geared p r i m a r i l y to the i n t e r e s t s of larger farmers f o r whom i n d i v i d -u a l ownership of a g r i c u l t u r a l equipment i s economically v i a b l e . I t i s among the very small farmers that shared purchase and u t i l i z a t i o n of machinery i s e s s e n t i a l , but t h i s sector has minimal influence over the p o l i c i e s of cooperatives, and no attempt has been made to accommo-date to t h e i r s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t s . No society has ever offered, or even suggested the p o s s i b i l i t y of making commercial c r e d i t a v a i l a b l e on a j o i n t basis for shared purchases. 231 Appropriation of F a c i l i t i e s A further aspect of the theory of choice behaviour concerns the s o c i a l determinants of d i f f e r e n t i a l a l l o c a t i o n of available input f a c i l i t i e s between competing a l t e r n a t i v e s . Again, i t i s assumed that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who control the f a c i l i t i e s , within the s o c i a l hierarchy of the communities, w i l l constitute the primary determinant of d i f f e r e n t i a l u t i l i z a t i o n . 9) Where there are competing objectives for u t i l i z a t i o n of input f a c i l i t i e s , those who control such f a c i l i t i e s w i l l a l l o c a t e them towards objectives which favour close associates.. This general assumption p a r a l l e l s that f o r the previous hypotheses, but r e l a t e s to c o n t r o l over d i r e c t u t i l i z a t i o n of f a c i l i t i e s rather than the access of others. Primary consideration i s given to the a l l o c a t i o n of funds and materials entrusted to the Proudhans f or i n -vestment i n pu b l i c amenities. These f a c i l i t i e s include grants and b u i l d i n g materials supplied by the government and any assets held by the panchayats. In both cases, the Proudhans have primary responsi-b i l i t y f o r t h e i r management. I t i s predicted that p r i o r i t y i n the a l l o c a t i o n of a l l investment f a c i l i t i e s for p u b l i c amenities w i l l be given to those projects which are d i r e c t l y b e n e f i c i a l to the Proudhan and close associates, and to that sector of the v i l l a g e from which they are drawn. Measurement i s based on observation of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of amenities within the v i l l a g e s , combined with complaints of favoured a l l o c a t i o n and expropriation of funds. The concentration of p u b l i c amenities i n one r e s i d e n t i a l area 232 i n each of the f i v e v i l l a g e s provides the f i r s t v i s u a l i n d i c a t i o n of the extent of biased a l l o c a t i o n of investment f a c i l i t i e s . This d i s t r i b u t i o n pattern i s c l o s e l y consistent with the above p r e d i c t i o n . Modern amenities such as wide access roads, paved lanes, gutters and drainage pipes, b r i c k bridges and hygienic wells provided with government funds, are a l l located i n the higher caste r e s i d e n t i a l areas where the Proudhans themselves l i v e . The scene changes abruptly outside these small l o c a l i t i e s . Paved lanes do not turn the corner which marks the boundary of the high caste zone. Commonly, there i s l i t t l e evidence of any recent constructions or modern amenities, and standards d e t e r i o r a t e noticeably as one moves from middle to low caste areas. The same p r i o r i t i e s govern the s e l e c t i o n of s i t e s for such new buildings as panchayat houses, b r i c k - b u i l t schools, c l i n i c s , and the l i k e . A l l are located i n close proximity to the high caste zone. Low caste respondents were frequently re l u c t a n t to use these f a c i l i t i e s , f e a r i n g they would be challenged and abused i f they enter these areas. Few such amenities are ever provided i n t h e i r own quarter of the v i l l a g e . When asked to l i s t a l l new amenities provided through panchayat or government funds, a l l respondents l i s t e d only those evident i n the v i l l a g e centre. Low castes are f a m i l i a r with these, since they provide the bulk of a l l free labour for t h e i r construction, but they could l i s t no complementary amenities b u i l t i n t h e i r own areas. Conversely, they could r e a d i l y point out many improvements needed i n t h e i r areas f o r which no funds or materials had been a l l o c a t e d . The l i s t v a ries from v i l l a g e to v i l l a g e , but not the discrepancies i n l i v i n g conditions and amenities between 233 these back areas and the v i l l a g e centres. Occasionally delegations from low caste quarters have ra i s e d requests for amenities with the panchayat, and some had even given t h e i r thumbprint to documents endorsing the need for construction materials, but none have been forthcoming. More often than not, they were simply t o l d to go away and that no more materials were a v a i l a b l e . A further scheme which was intended to b e n e f i t a l l v i l l a g e r s , was land consolidation. The Proudhans and l o c a l record-keepers were responsible for the r e - a l l o c a t i o n of a l l v i l l a g e lands, to c o n s o l i -date i n d i v i d u a l holdings into single u n i t s , with due regard to equiva-lent s i z e and q u a l i t y . Respondents among the lower castes and r i v a l f actions widely alleged that they were cheated, both i n the amount of land returned to them, and i t s q u a l i t y . As i n a l l such trans-actions the i l l i t e r a t e are the most vunerable, i n that they cannot check the records against which they are required to place t h e i r thumbprints. In one v i l l a g e a f i f t h of a l l low caste farmers claimed to have l o s t some lands, t o t a l l i n g over twenty acres. Other higher caste respondents also corroborated that much of the worst land, not wanted by...anyone, was given to the low castes. Favoured associates of the Proudhans were named as the main b e n e f i c i a r i e s . Many lower castes put pressure on the Proudhans for redress, but to l i t t l e a v a i l . Usually they lack any proof of such fraud which would stand before a court. R i v a l f a c t i o n supporters i n the fourth v i l l a g e were the only group to challenge the Proudhan openly, claiming that they had been cheated i n the q u a l i t y and quantity of land they received. The f i g h t which ensued was the culmination of years of feuding between 234 the two f a c t i o n s . I t ended only with p o l i c e intervention, but not before two men had been k i l l e d . While the extent of fraudulent pr a c t i c e s i n land consolidation i s c l e a r l y d i f f i c u l t to v e r i f y , the prevalence of these accounts i l l u s t r a t e both the extent to which the scheme became embroiled i n f a c t i o n p o l i t i c s within the communities, and the extent to which i t l e n t i t s e l f to manipulation by v i l l a g e leaders. In other areas, control over government i r r i g a t i o n became the focus of complaints of expropriation of public funds. Farmers whose lands are immediately adjacent to the main canal were accused of d e l i b e r a t e l y blocking i r r i g a t i o n canals to the f i e l d s of more di s t a n t farms. They would be opened only a f t e r t h e i r own f i e l d s were saturated. The r e s u l t was that progressively le s s water remained for other farmers during the short time span i n which the main canal i s open. I r o n i c a l l y , i n another v i l l a g e i t i s a drainage d i t c h to r e l i e v e f l o o d i n g i n a low caste hamlet which i s blocked by the r e -f u s a l of adjacent large landowners to permits i t s construction across t h e i r land. S p e c i f i c instances d i f f e r from v i l l a g e to v i l l a g e , but the underlying pattern remains the same. Public funds and materials intended to b e n e f i t the whole community are u t i l i z e d p r i m a r i l y i n the i n t e r e s t s of that narrow sector which enjoys the c l o s e s t t i e s with those who c o n t r o l t h e i r a l l o c a t i o n . No consistent attempts have been made to balance out the benefits across a l l sectors of the communities, and no formal procedures are arranged to f a c i l i t a t e t h i s . As with access to c r e d i t and grants described above, such control 235 functions as a form of p r i v a t e property for v i l l a g e leaders, to be u t i l i z e d as patronage i n v i l l a g e p o l i t i c s . For the above schemes some tangible benefits d i d r e s u l t to the v i l l a g e , i f only to the e l i t e sectors. There remain many other proposed amenities which have never been undertaken or were l e f t half-completed. The funds and materials intended for them have been diverted to projects s o l e l y of p r i v a t e i n t e r e s t to the v i l l a g e leaders. Charges of embezzlement of p u b l i c funds were ra i s e d against leaders i n a l l f i v e v i l l a g e s studied; only the extent of such a l l e g a t i o n s vary. The i l l - f a t e d poultry-farming scheme achieved some notoriety i n several v i l l a g e s . Few Proudhans f e l t committed to i t , as i t i s generally considered a low caste occupation, but a l l were interested i n the large subsidies, and applied for them. However, no sign of the farms remain i n the v i l l a g e s . The Proudhans are accused of devising various schemes whereby they could r a p i d l y abandon the farms and s e l l of equipment, without returning the subsidies. The subsidies, meanwhile, were diverted into other projects more d i r e c t l y appealing to the v i l l a g e leaders. Other s p e c i f i c amenities have been funded i n d i f f e r e n t v i l l a g e s , but never c a r r i e d out. One Proudhan i s openly stated to have taken a major grant intended for construction of a metalled access road to the v i l l a g e . No work has ever started on the road, although o f f i c i a l s confirm that funds were a l l o c a t e d . Block o f f i c i a l s expressed mild concern that he should have been prosecuted, but nothing has been done about i t i n the ensuing two years. This same Proudhan i s separately implicated i n the 236 m i s a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f funds d o n a t e d f o r a s c h o o l b u i l d i n g . In o t h e r v i l l a g e s , s i m i l a r c o m p l a i n t s were v o i c e d t h a t b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l s a l l o c a t e d f o r p u b l i c a m e n i t i e s were e x p r o p r i a t e d f o r c o n s t r u c t i o n o f t h e P r o u d h a n i s h o u s e . In one v i l l a g e i t was the s c h o o l b u i l d i n g w h i c h s u f f e r e d . In a n o t h e r i t i s t h e p a n c h a y a t house w h i c h s t a n d s h a l f f i n i s h e d , a n d t r e e t r u n k s s t i l l s e r v e where b r i c k s were a l l o c a t e d f o r two b r i d g e s . In y e t o t h e r c a s e s i t i s f u n d s r a i s e d t h r o u g h t h e v i l l a g e c o u n c i l s w h i c h a r e u n a c c o u n t e d f o r . The most i m p o r t a n t f a c t o r w h i c h f a c i l i t a t e s s u c h e x p r o p r i -a t i o n i s the s e c r e c y w h i c h s u r r o u n d s p a n c h a y a t a c t i v i t i e s . P u b l i c m e e t i n g s a r e r a r e l y c a l l e d , and t h e m a j o r i t y o f v i l l a g e r s have no d i r e c t way o f l e a r n i n g a b o u t new f u n d s a l l o c a t e d t h r o u g h t h e B l o c k , o r even a b o u t f u n d s r a i s e d w i t h i n t h e v i l l a g e . H e n c e , t h e y c a n e x e r t l i t t l e i n f l u e n c e o v e r how t h e y w i l l be s p e n t . L o c a l l e v e l o f f i c i a l s w i t h i n t h e B l o c k a d m i n i s t r a t i o n a r e s i m i l a r l y e x p o s e d t o l i t t l e a c t i v e s u p e r v i s i o n o r a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . They a r e t h e m s e l v e s o f t e n i m p l i c a t e d i n the m i s a p p r o p r i a t i o n o f p u b l i c f u n d s . The many c a s e s o f a l l e g e d f r a u d on t h e p a r t o f government o f f i c i a l s , s u g g e s t s t h a t any e x p a n s i o n o f t h e i r c o n t r o l o v e r f u n d s , r e l a t i v e t o t h a t e x e r c i s e d by v i l l a g e P r o u d h a n s , i s u n l i k e l y t o promote any g r e a t e r j u s t i c e o r i m p a r t i a l i t y i n t h e i r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . T h i s l a c k o f e f f e c t i v e s u p e r v i s i o n o v e r l o c a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i s i t s e l f a c o n s e q u e n c e o f p o o r c o m m u n i c a t i o n sys tem s and an i l l - i n f o r m e d and l a r g e l y i l l i t e r a t e c l i e n t e l e . The m a j o r i t y o f v i l l a g e r s a r e i g n o r a n t o f t h e i r r i g h t s w i t h r e s p e c t t o p u b l i c f a c i l i t i e s , and l a c k t h e e x p e r i e n c e , t h e k n o w l e d g e , and t h e f i n a n c i a l r e s o u r c e s w i t h w h i c h t o s e c u r e t h e i r r i g h t s . 237 The biased a l l o c a t i o n and frequent misappropriation of development funds have two important e f f e c t s . They serve to increase the already marked d i f f e r e n t i a l i n l i v i n g standards between the e l i t e stratum and lower s t r a t a within the v i l l a g e communities. Secondly, they serve to reduce the p o t e n t i a l gains from investment of govern-ment funds i n improving r u r a l amenities. The misappropriation of funds i s rendered the more s i g n i f i c a n t by the low absolute l e v e l of c a p i t a l a v a i l a b l e . Obstruction of Change The l a s t issue examined here concerns the circumstances under which new proposals may be d e l i b e r a t e l y obstructed through den i a l of investment f a c i l i t i e s . I t i s assumed that the a f f i l i a t i o n of those who co n t r o l f a c i l i t i e s , within the s o c i a l hierarchy of the communities, i s a c r i t i c a l determinant of the d i r e c t i o n i n which change i s obstructed. 10) Persons who exercise c o n t r o l over input f a c i l i t i e s w i l l obstruct access to them for any proposals which are perceived to be i n c o n f l i c t with the objectives of close associates. Given the extensive control over government and v i l l a g e f a c i l i t i e s enjoyed by the Proudhans, i t i s predicted that access to f a c i l i t i e s w i l l be denied for any proposals which threaten the p o s i t i o n of the Proudhan, himself or close associates among the wealthy, higher caste farmers i n the v i l l a g e communities. To d i s t i n g u i s h t h i s from the general p r a c t i c e of a l l o c a t i n g f a c i l i t i e s d i f f e r e n t i a l l y to favoured p r o j e c t s , measurement i s confined to those f a c i l i t i e s which are not 238 otherwise wanted or u t i l i z a b l e for other i n t e r e s t s . Two such f a c i l i t i e s proved c r i t i c a l i n the v i l l a g e context, - the u t i l i z a t i o n of surrounding v i l l a g e common lands, and new avenues f o r wage labour, - both of which were of concern to the landless. Uncultivated common lands within a v i l l a g e are generally of poor q u a l i t y for a g r i c u l t u r e and only of marginal u t i l i t y to any farmers already possessing lands. S i m i l a r l y , while wealthier v i l l a g e r s may seek s a l a r i e d p o s i t i o n s or open small businesses, u n s k i l l e d wage labour or petty vending a c t i v i t i e s are sought only by the landless. Competition for u t i l i z a t i o n of such f a c i l i t i e s among any of the middle or upper s t r a t a i s n e g l i g i b l e . In both cases, however, t h e i r increased u t i l i z a t i o n by the landless was seen as threatening the i n t e r e s t s of larger landowners i n securing an abundant source of cheap labour. The expectation i n both cases was thus that Proudhans would take active measures to i n h i b i t any increased access to them by labourers. The f i r s t concern with u t i l i z a t i o n of v i l l a g e common lands came to:.a head with land reform l e g i s l a t i o n , which required that un-c u l t i v a t e d common lands under the control of v i l l a g e councils be d i s t r i b u t e d free among the landless and near landless residents. Proudhans were given primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for t h i s d i s t r i b u t i o n . C o n f l i c t of i n t e r e s t s i n the enactment of t h i s l e g i s l a t i o n was r e a d i l y appreciated and acknowledged i n discussions both with landless r e -spondents and larger landowners. From the perspective of the land-l e s s , access to common lands, even of marginal a g r i c u l t u r a l value, promised to reduce the extent of t h e i r dependence on casual work as hi r e d labourers, and to provide a basis for s t a b i l i z i n g the minimum 239 Table XL. D i s t r i b u t i o n of Common Lands: Experiences Recounted by Faction and Caste Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Total % % % % % % Experiences Recounted Uninformed about scheme 16 12 13 15 15 14 No land given i n the v i l l a g e 27 27 27 51 45 42 Some given to poor fa m i l i e s 51 34 51 17 6 20 Given/sold to Proudhan's favourites 6 22 9 8 8 9 Given/sold to favourites - s e l f 0 5 0 2 6 4 evicted Self evicted from land 0 0 0 5 17 9 Self received some land 0 0 0 2 3 2 Total Respondents 51 56 45 144 244 540 b) Amount of Land Received Faction and Caste P. R. H. M. L. Number of Recipients Amount Received Quarter acre 0 0 0 1 4 Half acre 0 0 0 1 2 One to two acres 0 0 0 1 1 Three acres 0 0 0 0 1 Took land but evicted 0 3 0 11 57 240 wage they would accept. For village leaders, any large scale d i s t r i -bution of lands threatened both the absolute size of the labour pool, and more importantly, i t s cheapness. This was especially significant in two villages, where large tracts of marginally cultivable land are available. Response to the legislation was the same in a l l villages. As predicted, the Proudhans, backed by other large landowners, adopted various strategies to circumvent the letter and intent of the legis-lation. These strategies included disposal of available land by sale or gifts to landowners and relatives; distribution of small plots on a temporary rental basis, donation of token plots of unworkable land, and lastly letting the lands l i e unused, and threatening any who dared touch them. The f i r s t option, that of sale or disposal to friends, offered several advantages. The Proudhans could get r i d of incrimi-nating lands at a profit to themselves, without affecting the number of landless. It was adopted in some measure in a l l the villages. Disposal of land to immediate friends and relatives could be readily covered up as part of the land consolidation scheme. A second strategy was to offer land to the landless on a temporary basis, in return for a financial consideration, but with no intention of granting permanent owner-cultivator rights. Landless families claimed to have given the Proudhans large deposits for which they were promised plots of land, but these were never formally r a t i f i e d . Later the land was taken back, and they were threatened with court cases i f they con-tinued to cultivate i t . The third strategy adopted was the donation of token amounts of land to.a handful of landless families within the 241 v i l l a g e . These could be offered as proof of compliance with the letter.,of the l e g i s l a t i o n , should any inspection be made, but have n e g l i g i b l e impact on the pool of labourers. Most of these p l o t s were of l e s s than h a l f an acre, well below the minimum l e v e l for subsistence. Other larger donations proved mostly or wholly un-workable, being s i t e d i n the middle of the v i l l a g e pond, or where nothing would grow. The only actual donation of land to the landless appears to have occurred i n the t h i r d v i l l a g e , but t h i s was only a few short weeks before the incumbent Proudhan's dismissal on fraud charges. The acting Proudhan from the r i v a l f a c t i o n promptly cancelled a l l land t i t l e s given. He claimed that most of the land was r i g h t f u l l y part of h i s own faction's new land a l l o c a t i o n . These lands now l i e i d l e , pending a lengthy court case, and the large farmers threatened to shoot anyone who t r i e s to c u l t i v a t e i t . The l a s t strategy, i n combination with the above, was simply to l e t the lands l i e i d l e and threaten any of the landless labourers who t r i e d to work them. Many i n f a c t d i d t r y to lay claim to small p l o t s of land and attempted to sow crops. They were evicted and sometimes beaten up by large land-owners and any crops were confiscated. Whatever the strategies adopted by d i f f e r e n t Proudhans, the end r e s u l t has been the same i n a l l v i l l a g e s . Despite the l e g i s l a t i o n , landless f a m i l i e s have not been given access to former common lands, although large t r a c t s of p o t e n t i a l l y c u l t i v a b l e lands remain unused. These f a m i l i e s continue to depend on work as hired labourers for t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . The second concern with increasing a v a i l a b i l i t y by employment 242 for u n s k i l l e d labourers outside a g r i c u l t u r e , e n t a i l e d a s i m i l a r con-f l i c t of i n t e r e s t s . Government r u r a l works programmes included the a l l o c a t i o n of grants to v i l l a g e a r t i s a n and c r a f t i n d u s t r i e s , and promotion of labour-intensive r u r a l i n d u s t r i es such as brick f a c t o r i e s , and road construction. These programmes promised some r e l i e f from i n t e n s i f i e d competition between labourers, and also promised some reprieve from depressed a g r i c u l t u r a l wages which t h i s competition e n t a i l s . For large landowners, any such expansion of employment opportunities threatens to deplete the supply of cheap labour on which they themselves r e l y . The reaction of v i l l a g e leaders was to s t i f l e these incentive schemes, and to bar the access of labourers to other employment wherever pos s i b l e . Strategies varied from exprop-r i a t i o n of funds, to active threats against any who dared seek such work. Where Proudhans enjoyed d i r e c t control over the d i s t r i b u t i o n of government grants, they were simply diverted into other p r o j e c t s . One panchayat received a large grant to e s t a b l i s h a c r a f t cooperative which would promote and market the products of l o c a l a r t i s a n s . The opposition r a i s e d against the scheme by wealthy landowners who dominate the panchayat was described i n extreme terms by the Proudhan. They threatened to destroy any buildings used for the cooperative, and to r e t a l i a t e against any v i l l a g e r s who p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the project. The Proudhan claimed that he dared not spend the money as o r i g i n a l l y intended. Instead, he invested i t i n a d i s t a n t pottery works, with i n t e r e s t accruing to the panchayat. Meanwhile, none of the lower caste a r t i s a n s , f or whom the grant was intended, appeared to be aware that such funds had ever been'provided. In another v i l l a g e , grants 243 were provided for d i s t r i b u t i o n to i n d i v i d u a l craftsmen, but again most of the funds were expropriated f o r other purposes. Strategies for combatting increased a v a i l a b i l i t y of jobs outside the v i l l a g e s were i n d i r e c t , since none of the leaders had d i r e c t c o n t r o l over them. They nonetheless t r i e d to discourage access to them by v e i l e d threats and occasionally open confrontations with labourers who sought such work. Any labourer who accepted work out-side the v i l l a g e faced the very r e a l threat that both he and h i s r e l a t i v e s would be denied any future work from large landowners during slack; periods. While a g r i c u l t u r e remains the s i n g l e major source of work i n r u r a l areas, t h i s i s an a l l too serious r i s k . Other harassment included c o n f i s c a t i o n of any animals belonging to the family which strayed near the f i e l d s of any large landowner. Pressures were stepped up p a r t i c u l a r l y during peak harvest periods when labour was i n great demand. One group of labourers who t r i e d to j o i n a road crew i n the nearby c i t y , were waylaid i n the s t a t i o n road by angry landowners. They were beaten and forced to return and work on the harvest, on threat of further r e t a l i a t i o n . Such strategies do not prevent labourers from working outside the v i l l a g e when oppor-t u n i t i e s a r i s e , but they do discourage many who otherwise would have sought such jobs. The general e f f e c t of the opposition r a i s e d by v i l l a g e leaders has been to r e t a r d the p o t e n t i a l impact of government work programmes i n changing the prospects and l i v i n g standards of the poorest sectors of the v i l l a g e communities. Conclusion U t i l i z a t i o n of a l l f a c i l i t i e s provided for implementation of 244 of the development programmes r e f l e c t s i m i l a r constraints of biased access and r e s t r i c t e d a l l o c a t i o n or expropriation. Close associates of those who administer such funds are favoured both i n access and i n the projects supported while others are l i k e l y to f i n d t h e i r access barred or constrained by the discriminatory treatment they experience. In these h i e r a r c h i c a l l y d i v i s i v e communities, i t i s the lower s t r a t a who generally b e n e f i t l e a s t . This lessens only, i n the rare instances where subordinate fa c t i o n s , who seek support among disfavoured groups, administer the funds and hence the patronage they represent. Moneylenders continue to f i l l the large gap between need and access to c r e d i t . For the average v i l l a g e r , and e s p e c i a l l y f or the lower s t r a t a , the larges t loans taken are not from government sponsored cooperatives, but from these moneylenders. Access to them i s easy and swift, but they exact a high premium. Ba r r i e r s to the use of f a c i l i t i e s are rendered the more s i g n i f i c a n t by the low absolute l e v e l of funds a v a i l a b l e . S c a r c i t y of funds, however, i s not the primary factor behind these constraints. Often they are diverted to i n t e r e s t s of peripheral relevance to the development projects themselves. In other instances they are under-u t i l i z e d . Government c r e d i t f a c i l i t i e s are not exhausted by the large loans to favoured applicants, nor are a l l the c u l t i v a b l e common lands d i s t r i b u t e d to those who want them. Barr i e r s here l i e not i n s c a r c i t y alone, but i n the i n t e r e s t s which d i v e r t the funds and l i m i t the access of others to them. Such action i t s e l f i s rendered possible by the dearth of i n -formation on a l l these f a c i l i t i e s which i s disseminated to p o t e n t i a l 245 c l i e n t s . Many do not know of a l l f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e , or who i s e l i g i b l e or how such funds are spent. Their ignorance l i m i t s both competition and a p p l i c a t i o n , and the pressures brought to bear for more equitable d i s t r i b u t i o n . Even with such knowledge, the majority lack the resources or the c a p a b i l i t y to press these claims against the l o c a l leaders. Sanctions are few. O f f i c i a l s at v i l l a g e l e v e l are also free to act with l i t t l e supervision or a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . Senior o f f i c i a l s , whose r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i t i s to check t h e i r work, are far removed from the v i l l a g e l o c a l s or from the reach of v i l l a g e r s themselves. The r e l a t i v e i n e f f e c t i v e n e s s of bureaucratic controls i n the context both of extended chains of command and supervision, and of a l a r g e l y i l l i t e r a t e and i l l - i n f o r m e d c l i e n t e l e , further serves to minimize the sanctions which might counterbalance l o c a l vested i n t e r -ests i n the use of funds. Under such conditions, the issue of whether government o f f i c i a l s or elected representatives within the v i l l a g e s should handle funds i s purely academic. The r e s u l t s are the same i n both cases. In consequence, expansion of f a c i l i t i e s alone w i l l not i t s e l f markedly increase investment i n development programmes, without simul-taneous changes i n conditions of access and c o n t r o l , and the factors which impede the flow of information and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , and sustain the hierarchy which i t s e l f promotes these narrowed i n t e r e s t s . Without such changes, any increase i n f a c i l i t i e s i s l i k e l y to r e i n f o r c e the economic d i f f e r e n t i a l between the favoured and the lower s t r a t a , and to perpetuate the system of d i f f e r e n t i a l advantages. CHAPTER EIGHT CONCLUSION This f i n a l chapter b r i e f l y summarizes the r e s u l t s of the study. I t indicates t h e i r immediate implications for development programmes i n India, and t h e i r broader s i g n i f i c a n c e f or a general theory of choice behaviour. Al t e r n a t i v e s Considered The f i r s t aspect of the theory which i s examined i n the study concerns reception of relevant information i n the areas of choice con-sidered. The t h e o r e t i c a l problem i s that of s p e c i f y i n g the scope of a l t e r n a t i v e s l i k e l y to enter the f i e l d of choice for i n d i v i d u a l s d i f f e r e n t i a l l y s i t u a t e d within the community, and the range of conse-quences known about them. The study demonstrates the general assumption that the a f f i l -i a t i o n of those who control the flow of information within the commun-i t i e s comprises a c r i t i c a l determinant of the range of a l t e r n a t i v e s presented to i n d i v i d u a l s from d i f f e r e n t sectors of the communities. Three d i s t i n c t aspects of such control are analysed; s e l e c t i v e access to c r i t i c a l media f o r d i r e c t information, s e l e c t i v e d i f f u s i o n of i n -formation at second hand, and s e l e c t i v e content of information trans-mitted. The f i r s t hypothesis examined states that: 1) Where p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l s c o n t r o l access to means of communication within a community, they w i l l encourage 246 247 i I ft the access of close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. The implications of t h i s hypothesis are r e a d i l y traced i n the hierarch-i c a l l y organized s o c i a l context of the Indian v i l l a g e s . In t h i s par-t i c u l a r case, l o c a l government o f f i c i a l s and v i l l a g e leaders were i n p o s i t i o n s to exercise c o n t r o l over information on development programmes. Maximal access to a l l means of communication were enjoyed by fellow members of the e l i t e stratum from which v i l l a g e leaders are drawn. The immediate friends and favoured associates of these leaders were Commonly i n v i t e d to any discussions and t r a i n i n g clubs which were organized. They were also most l i k e l y to be included i n any mass media presentations, and i n the d i s t r i b u t i o n of relevant l i t e r a t u r e . Other members of the communities were progressively l e s s l i k e l y to be included, as d i s p a r i t i e s i n s o c i a l status between them and these leaders increased. R i v a l r y between members of the higher castes was also d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t e d i n s e l e c t i v e exclusion from any meetings which were subject to the c o n t r o l of opposing leaders. Local o f f i c i a l s do not operate independently of t h i s l o c a l s o c i a l hierarchy, but are d i r e c t l y incorporated within i t . They seek associates p r i m a r i l y among the v i l l a g e e l i t e s , with whom they share s i m i l a r caste ranking and greater homogeneity of economic p o s i t i o n and education, compared with other v i l l a g e r s . As a r e s u l t , new information i s i n i t i a l l y channelled to a highly s e l e c t sector of the communities. The subsequent patterns of d i f f u s i o n of information c l e a r l y r e i n f o r c e d t h i s i n i t i a l s e l e c t i v e access. The second hypothesis examined was that: h ' 6 248 2) Where particular individuals function as intermediaries in the diffusion of information within a community, they w i l l disseminate information primarily to close associates and status equals over other sectors of the community. New information on development programmes spread most effectively among members of the same el i t e stratum of wealthy higher castes. They enjoy relatively close interaction with village leaders and others who have privileged access to communication. Progressively more fragmented and incomplete information on the programmes reached other members of the communities as status disparities increased. Of f i c i a l s , no less than village leaders, foster selective contacts. They encourage frequent and lengthy discussions about the programmes only among the elit e s . Others may approach them with specific questions but their company is not sought out or fostered. A distinct aspect of such diffusion is the selective content of information which i s transmitted and that which i s withheld. Here the specific hypothesis examined is that: 3) Intermediaries in the diffusion of information w i l l encourage the transmission of any information seen as supporting the objectives of close associates, and obstruct the transmission of information seen as opposed to such objectives. Those aspects of the development programmes which met with th