FACTORY WORKERS 67
are conveniently forgotten, and instead a naive "citadel" theory is put forth which says that factory employment is a citadel to the workers: once inside, they can always look for better alternatives, but for each one inside, there is a regiment outside trying to escape from the chaos and scale the walls. About the workers' idea of a job, the author "discovers" a fact which is nothing but stating the obvious, namely, that the job is part of a career, which is part of a lifetime, which is part of a family's development or some other long-term process.
The questions the author poses in the beginning, like, whether the workers are a privileged elite in a dual economy, how accurate their assessment of their own situation is, in the light of the situation in the labour market, and so on, are interesting in themselves. But the "conclusions" he arrives at in Chapter 6 are nothing more than naive assertions. This, however, is not surprising for various reasons. First of all, the workers are treated in isolation. Any serious attempt to assess their situation in the context of backward capitalism, or to examine their position within the productive process, is missing. Secondly, the book is mostly descriptive—not only the introductory chapter and the one on "Bangalorc and its^ Factory Workers", but even those on "Life as a Factory Worker". and "Some Careers"—and contains little of analytical significance Apart from descriptive material on particular situations, it also contains long quotations from interviews with several workers and personnel officers, often devoting much space for trivialities. Thirdly, to the extent there is any analysis, it is too simplistic. The categorization of workers seems to be particularly so: depending on the views they expressed, they have been grouped into pater-nalists, militant unionists, idealistic, reforming, middle class factory workers, those who have no alternatives, hopeless cases (sic) and so on. Finally, the statistical base of the study is itself questionable and does not warrant any generalization about South Indian factory workers. "The case study sample ... is not strictly random", but the author "worked through personal introductions". But even with that, he is not consistent, and the size of the sample keeps on changing with different tables: for example, it is 104 for Table 14, 1134 for Table 20, 600 for Table 24, 716 for Table 25 and unknown for Table 18.
Thus in effect the book remains a report and not a study. When a social scientist looks at such problems, one expects him to delve more deeply into them. But then, a good deal depends also on how deep he wants to probe.