Social stratification is alive and well in the northern Indian territory of Ladakh. From the 10th century CE to the present day, historical, economic, political, and social changes to the fabric of Ladakhi society have altered the content of this social stratification to its present form today. In contemporary Ladakh, almost all low-wage labour is conducted by cohorts of migrant workers from Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orrisa. The lives of migrant workers working in Ladakh are fraught with hardship and exploitation. Using the work of Weber, Scott, Fischer and Bebbington, this paper seeks to explore the historical and contemporary evolution of social stratification in Ladakh, with a focus on the stratification between Ladakhi and migrant worker populations in the region.

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Andrew Fischer
Social Policy for Development (SPD)
International Institute of Social Studies

Vir Viraf Mehta. (2022, December 16). Building differences: an exploration of stratification in Ladakh’s labour market. Social Policy for Development (SPD). Retrieved from