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University of Colorado at Boulder

Publication Date

Spring 2007

Program Name

India: Culture and Development


In the proposal for this ISP the basic hypothesis was that education would catalyze an urban transition in Ogna. Specifically, it seemed as though people were leaving Ogna in pursuit of higher education, and eventually for a job in the city. It was posited that the eventual yet large migration to the city would have various effects on the social, economic, and structural stability of Ogna, and further, it was thought that with this migration a drastic change in Ogna’s culture would occur. Thus it appeared possible that eventually Ogna as it is today might cease to exist. As a result the abstract stated that, “the focus will be on the perceptions of the residents in regards to the social effects that education has had on their village” and specifically what “the locals’ perceptions in regards to the effect that an increasingly educated populace may have on the current village dynamic.” It was the expectation of the above changes as related to education that inspired this ISP. However, the situation in Ogna is not how it first appeared, and it seems as though at this point education has not fueled Ogna’s urban transition but in actuality has served to negate many of the reasons that would cause such.

To detail this finding I will present the subsequent discussion in the following manner. To begin, I will provide a brief background detailing how the initial hypothesis seemed to be within the realm of possibility for the future of Ogna. Next, I will detail the field methods used and the limitations thereof. Then, I will divide the remainder of this report into the following sections.

The first will attempt to answer the question of, what does education entail in Ogna? Though this question is seemingly straightforward, it is necessary to understand what type of education is being given in Ogna, and thus what type of possible influence may exist as a result thereof. In section two I will explore the perceptions surrounding how education can influence Ogna’s society. This will help establish the perceived utility of education and thus implicitly show to what extent they will use it as a means of change. Next, in section three, I will provide a limited account of Ogna’s development. Specifically, I will describe of Ogna’s recent past in regards to the physical features. By doing so, a contrast with the current state will be able to be made. In section four I will describe Ogna’s current physical state. This will provide yet another means of understanding the influence that education has had on Ogna. In section five, I will directly discuss how education counters an urban transition, and finally in section six I will discuss the reactions in Ogna regarding the changes that have occurred. To close, I will present a commentary on how the above findings relate to the larger notions of urban transition, societal change, and specifically the future of the Ogna village. Ultimately, it will become clear that although education would seem to fuel an urban transition in Ogna, in reality this has not been the case.


Anthropology | Education | Social and Cultural Anthropology



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