ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic Transformations among Navayana Buddhist Women

The intricate nexus between religious conversion and economic transformation among Navayana Buddhist women is explored in this article. Narratives from Navayana Buddhist women underscore the tangible influence of religious conversion on economic mobility and community solidarity. The findings of the article contribute to a broader discourse on the intersection of religion and economic transformation.

The author would like to extend her heartfelt gratitude to the women of the Navayana Buddhist community in Chembur, Mumbai for their valuable time and insights. This research is an extension of a portion of her master’s dissertation completed at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and she is deeply appreciative of the guidance and support provided by her dissertation committee. The author would also like to extend her thanks to the Ambedkarite scholars at TISS for their guidance. Finally, the author also expresses her sincere gratitude to the anonymous referee at Economic & Political Weekly for their feedback.

Religious conversion, a multifacet­­­ed phenomenon, resonates through individuals’ lives, shaping their economic behaviour and social dynamics. This article explores the intricate interplay between religious conversion and its economic consequences by focusing on Navayana Buddhist women in India. Drawing from various scholarly contributions, this article demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of how religious conversion influences economic networks, decision-making, and traditional socio-economic structures.

This analysis learns from studies on the economic transformations within the Black South African Pentecostal com­munity’s post-religious conversion, as illuminated by the work of Mookgo Solomon Kgatle (2022). This micro-level exploration emphasises upon the transformative impact of religious conversion on economic networks, highlighting collaborative ventures and mutual support mechanisms within converted communities. Through this lens, the article attempts to uncover the pivotal role of community support in funding education, creating informal credit sources, and altering economic trajectories among the converted.

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Updated On : 7th Nov, 2023
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