EMBODIED CAPITAL AND HERITABLE WEALTH IN COMPLEX CULTURES: A CLASS-BASED ANALYSIS OF PARENTAL INVESTMENT IN URBAN SOUTH INDIA

Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology

ISBN: 978-0-76231-082-1, eISBN: 978-1-84950-255-9

ISSN: 0190-1281

Publication date: 30 December 2004

Abstract

In the recent literature in human behavioral ecology, two types of explanations have emerged as important for understanding fertility and parental investment in modern market economies: embodied capital and heritable wealth. Using this perspective, I compare the education, income, and marriage outcomes of daughters and sons among three urban south Indian social class groups that differ in terms of their education, resources, and the types of jobs they typically perform. The three class groups are found to have predictably different parental investment strategies based on their position in competitive labor markets and the investment currencies they rely on most heavily. Furthermore, I find that the currencies of both embodied capital and heritable wealth have important but separate impacts on parental investment behavior. Finally, I find that these different investment currencies may entail different investment structures, which in turn may differ by social class: in some classes, education attracts education in the marriage market and marriage expenditures help ensure a wealthy spouse, but in other classes, these currencies are substitutable.

Citation

Shenk, M. (2004), "EMBODIED CAPITAL AND HERITABLE WEALTH IN COMPLEX CULTURES: A CLASS-BASED ANALYSIS OF PARENTAL INVESTMENT IN URBAN SOUTH INDIA", Alvard, M. (Ed.) Socioeconomic Aspects of Human Behavioral Ecology (Research in Economic Anthropology, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 307-333. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0190-1281(04)23013-X

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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