The Kafka quagmire for the poor in India

Belk, R and Ghoshal, T (2017) The Kafka quagmire for the poor in India. Journal of Marketing Management, 33 (17-18). pp. 1559-1569.

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Abstract

ABSTRACTKhare and Varman present a compellingly pessimistic analysis of the plight of the poor in India. The dilemmas of the poor are often exacerbated by large corporations seeking to find ways to market products to impoverished emerging market consumers. In India, consumers are frequently hurt by these initiatives, small retailers may suffer, while corruption and trickery by petty bureaucrats and ruthless landlords help the rich get richer at the expense of the poor. The article by Khare and Varman is a scathing indictment based on detailed ethnographic evidence but it reveals only a fraction of the disadvantages and traps of disempowerment facing those Indians living lives of great precarity. In this comment, we seek to build upon Khare and Varman’s insightful analysis both in order to reinforce their conclusions about the Kafkaesque existence of India’s poor and to introduce some further considerations and complications that make the quagmire even more entrapping. We focus on four sources of these problems: patriarchy, bureaucracy and corruption, class and caste power and hierarchies, and uneven and inadequate infrastructure. We also highlight some largely individual and non-government initiatives that may offer hope of escaping this quagmire for the poor.

Affiliation: Indian School of Business
ISB Creators:
ISB CreatorsORCiD
Ghoshal, TUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Patriarchy, bureaucracy, corruption, caste power, hierarchy, infrastructure
Subjects: Business and Management
Marketing
Depositing User: Veeramani R
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 09:51
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 09:51
URI: http://eprints.exchange.isb.edu/id/eprint/558
Publisher URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2017.1318939
Publisher OA policy: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0267-257X/
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