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Dancing with the RiverPeople and Life on the Chars of South Asia$
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Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gopa Samanta

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300188301

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300188301.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Living with Risk

Living with Risk

Beyond Vulnerability/Security

(p.135) Chapter 6 Living with Risk
Dancing with the River

James C. Scott

Yale University Press

This chapter outlines the mental maps of char dwellers, and shows the coping and adjustment strategies that they adopt to live in an environment of vulnerability and isolation. People live in a risky and uncertain environment not only because they have incomplete knowledge or because their rationality is bounded by compelling factors, but also because they take a calculated risk. They opt for a chance like that in a lottery or a gamble, a risk which is informed by the intimate knowledge developed over many years of living in a fluid and dynamic environment. Ill health, especially of income-earning members of the community, brings vulnerability to char dwellers because of their extreme poverty, affecting both the expenditures and income of households. Thus, char dwellers have honed their adaptive capacity as an important strategy for coping with the fragile environment in which they live.

Keywords:   char dwellers, vulnerability, isolation, risk, adaptive capacity, fragile environment

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