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Amplifying Forgotten Voices: Examining The Disconnect Between Karela Residents And Government Policy (Dissertation Sample)


the major part of the instructions read:
The assessed task is to write a 3,000-word qualitative research design paper.
A research design paper is a detailed plan that explains exactly how you would go about a piece of research on a political topic. The components include identifying the research question or puzzle and explaining why it is important, providing a review of the previous literature(s) relevant to your question (though see below on grounded theory methodology), explaining your methodological
approach, addressing how you will go about answering your question, explaining how you will deal with any limitations, and explaining how your research will be evaluated.
It is important to remember that the main purpose of this essay is to show that you have a thorough and critically engaged understanding of the readings and other learning materials for your PUBLG004A/B class. The essay may help you with your dissertation or other projects but that is not its primary purpose. You need to persuade the marker that your proposed qualitative research project is important, that you have thought carefully about how you will go about it, and that
it will stand up well to evaluation by the normal criteria that apply for this type of research. In other words, you need to show them that you have a good plan and that your research will be completed in a competent, well-organised and creative way.


The article is a research proposal article aimed to examine the disconnection between Kerala government and government policy. Kerala is one of the poor localities in India, but many studies have always praised the region, using it as an example in many cases, because of its success and well-being despite the low GDP. The paper notes that previous studies always appear to take a positivist approach without considering how the citizens feel. The paper, therefore, is written as a proposal to research that first acknowledges the three mass problems affecting the regions; which include access to clean water, uninhabitable living conditions and low-class mobility, but much attention is given to how the residents feel. The research questions, therefore, revolve around how the residents respond to NGO and governmental efforts; whether or not the residents feel their needs are being met; and the resident’s expectations from the government, which also explains their belief on the government enacting change. Given that previous studies have taken the positivist approach, the proposal aims research that will take the ethnographic structure, an interpretive approach.
Keywords: Kerala, GDP, government policy, the well-being of residents
In many cases, it can be said it is not what a person has that forms the basis of their success but how they handle or use as they strive for the success. Similar sentiments apply to economic situations, as much as they would be used in real life situations. Politicians and statisticians alike are consumed in looking into and getting an update on the trends in GDP; an aspect assumed to mirror an entire economy’s progress. However, in practice, a properly-donated GDP has no meaning if it is not put to work. When more efforts are placed towards economic production, as measured by an escalating GDP, but fails to bring any improvements to the human conditions, it loses the point (Venkatraman, 2009). An outstanding example of this saying is massively shown by the social and economic experience of Kerala.
Statistics show that Kerala boasts populations similar to Canada but all crammed into a much smaller piece of land than Nova Scotia. Apart from the congestion, the unique feature in Kerala is how they have leveraged the low GDP to attain extraordinarily strong outcomes in education, quality of life, and health. The region boasts the highest literacy levels in India, greater than 90 percent (Venkatraman, 2009). Besides, Kerala also has the lowest rates of infant mortality. The birth rates are 25 percent of the other parts of India, an aspect probably attributed to the grassroots economic opportunities and education programs for women. Based on such positive figures, one would easily be moved to list Kerala as one of the developed economies despite the third world output levels.
The unique approach in Kerala mirrors its enthralling political culture. A large percentage of half of the last century has been ruled by elected communists, either in a coalition with other parties or alone. Economically, all the ruling governments have always looked into the public services as their priority, taking into consideration the rural-land reforms in place of outsourcing for jobs and racing for call centers for white collar jobs. Kerala’s productivity in some of its smaller shops is pre-industrial but is far from equivalent to doing nothing, an aspect which has growingly become the fate of many Keralan residents (Venkatraman, 2009). The Keralan government has assisted the locality to resist agricultural corporatization, thereby assisting it to attain the mark of the lowest Indian rural poverty.
The Research Puzzle
A lot of research has been done on regions that exhibit high poverty rates, but little has been done to help explain the low trends and high rates of poverty as experienced in Kerala. A majority of the studies only focus on its successes and ability to overcome the odds with the low GDP. Notably, since liberation, Kerala has grown and achieved swift social progress in areas like literacy and infant mortality without any significant economic growth or industrialization. The occurrence prompted Kerala model discussions, though many scholars study how great extents of investments in social services by the state can lead to significant progress, despite negative economic growth. The research, therefore, takes the interpretive approach to denounce how previous research have left “little room for fleshing out the interpretive component’s logic of inquiry in the research design, including its associated standards, to the fullest, depriving interpretive-quantitative methods of their scientific grounding” (Schwartz-Shea and Yanow, 2013, 134). As the research deals with provable observations, it takes the ontological and epistemological approaches into play, through which it is only focused on the existence of social units as it seeks to establish how the people view their relationship with the government.
Based on the fact that most of the studies are conducted with the help of statistics and scientific evidence, driven with the aim of showing the outside world how a locality can achieve success with low GDP, the scholars have generally failed to acknowledge the three mass problem affecting the region; that is the access to clean water, uninhabitable living conditions, and low-class mobility. For instance, access to clean water is the most devastating problem for many residents, if not all, venture in the comprehensive battle for water deficiencies and poor sanitation of the limited water sources available (Shiva, 2013). Many of the residents are forced to walk for long distances only to get toxic water. The toxicity of the water ends the life of the children with as many children dies of either diarrhea or pneumonia. The lack of water alone shows the uninhabitable living conditions through which the residents have to live through. Based on these facts and harsh conditions, the research aims to establish how the residents feel regarding their living conditions and involvement of the government in enacting changes and bettering the way of life. The research puzzles, therefore, include;
1 How do the residents respond to efforts by the government and local NGOs, do they feel like their needs are being met?
2 What expectations do the residents have, do they feel that the government can truly enact change?
Literature Review
Ever since after independence, many efforts have been driven towards understanding poverty (Schatz, 2013). The studies tend to explain poverty as when an individual lacks a way of self-sustenance; in the modern world, this may very likely translate to lack of income-generating activity. Most recently, other instances of deprivation which strengthens an individual’s identity as poor are mostly created from development discourse: human and rights, health, and education (Halperin and Heath, 2016). Given such perspectives, poverty could be seen as a trap from which those born within the poverty space cannot evade it. The neoliberal methodology sees poverty as an impermanent line afflicting persons that will likely disappear once such individuals start making informed decisions in a non-restricted market society, for instance concentrating on money-generating activities (Schatz, 2013). Many studies, however, tend to question this model of economic self-determination, and individualism, and whether it permits individuals to evade the poverty trap. In an attempt to explain the derivation and persistence of poverty, there appears to be a lack of consensus. One hand appears to argue that poverty always exists as a local issue but later emerges as a global issue attributed to globalization. Moreover, such standpoints hold it that the societal transmission from a feudal, capitalist production mode is the cause of poverty. Based on this view, a distinction tends to protrude in explaining poverty and inequality, from which poverty exists in a capitalistic society whereas inequality exists in both types of society (Hammersley and Atkinson, 2007). This first class of literature argues about the roots of poverty. However, poverty conceptions have been consistently and broadly premised on the ideas of basic needs, subsistence, and relative deficiency of groups and individuals.
Another class of literature to be considered are the sources that tend to explain the current situations in rural India. Many of the studies acknowledge poverty in many regions (Lareau, 2018; Taylor, 2001)). The studies look into the factors that play across India to bring about mass poverty regardless of the deliberate actions to reduce the extreme poverty rates. In the first place, Aunger, (1995), says that the possession of industries is majorly in the hands of small businessmen that have made income distribution inequitable, which is then reflected by poverty. These people, as few as they may be, have amassed huge profits, and there henceforth wealth. The study also mentions that during the first stages of planning, designers majorly emphasized on objectives of growth and assumed that it would take care of poverty and inequality instances. Moreover, the planners argued that the projected high growth rates of the national income would then enlarge the opportunities of employment and hence improve the living standards of the poor masses. However, this has never been the case given a society described by gross inequality in how the assets are distributed, clearly showing a growth of an economy that failed to lower poverty. The studies, therefore, aimed to show that Indian poverty is attributed to the economic structure, which is described as the skewed distribution of income-yie...
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