From Company Town to Company Village

CSR and the Management of Rural Aspirations in Eastern India’s Extractive Economies

Article appearing in Journal of Peasant Studies 47.6

The Journal of Peasant Studies

In India’s contemporary model of extractive industry, the Company Town has been replaced by the ‘company village.’ Private sector firms throughout India’s mineral belt now occupy sectors that were, until recently, almost exclusively state-owned. Once the great hope for India’s industrial modernization and developmentalist effort, extraction continues to cause immense social and environmental dislocation but now offer few avenues of employment. Operating in the resettlement colonies of those displaced by land acquisition and in peripheral villages, extractive companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs attempt to mediate and redirect rural aspirations away from plant gates and mine sites, though often with only limited success.