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International Handbook of Urban Systems

Studies of Urbanization and Migration in Advanced and Developing Countries

Edited by H. S. Geyer

This authoritative Handbook provides a comprehensive account of migration and economic development throughout the world, in both developed and developing countries. Some of the world’s most experienced researchers in this field look at how population redistribution patterns have impacted on urban development in a wide selection of advanced and developing countries in all the major regions of the world over the past half century.
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Chapter 20: Urbanization and migration in India: a different scene

S. Mukherji


S. Mukherji DISTRESSED MIGRATION AND THE URBAN CRISIS IN INDIA Unlike the developed countries in the West, where rural-to-urban migration and urbanization are associated with a vertical shift in the labour force from the agricultural sector to the urbanized-industrial sector, migration in the developing countries, such as India, often occurs from the rural peasant sector to urban informal sectors. This is a typical manifestation of underdevelopment, poverty, and spatial disorganization of the economy of the underdeveloped sectors of the society, which arose partially as a result of past colonization and its adverse consequences on space economy (Mukherji, 198 1: 1-43). Such displacements from the rural to urban areas are occurring, not in response to any structural change within the labour force, as is happening in the West, but as a dislocation of uprooted workers and peasants from the marginalised countryside to involuted urban centres. This displacement in India is a typical characteristic of urban growth that has outpaced industrialization. It is a symptom of underdevelopment, not development, and it tends to compound hrther underdevelopment. Certain traditional theories and perspectives of urbanization (rural-to-urban) migration, as developed in the West do not fully explain the true picture and processes of migration and urbanization in a Developing Country like India. Hence, this chapter presents a different story. The crucial problems of distressed migration from villages to metropolitan areas and the associated problems of unbalanced urbanization and extreme urban decay in India need the urgent attention of scholars and planners 525 526 International Handbook...

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