Book Talk on ‘Narrow Fairways: Getting by and Falling Behind in the New India’, by Patrick Inglis (Changing India Series), NIAS Lecture Hall, 4.00 PM

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560012



Changing India Series

(supported by the Pratiksha Trust)


 invites you to a Book Talk: on


‘Narrow Fairways: Getting by and Falling Behind in the New India’ 




Patrick Inglis

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Grinnell College



Date:                Monday, 21st October 2019

Time:               4:00 PM (Coffee/Tea at 3.30 PM)

Venue:             Lecture Hall, NIAS


Chairperson: Mr. Snehashish Mitra (NIAS doctoral student)

Discussant:  Ms. Savitha Suresh (NIAS doctoral student)


Abstract:   India remains a country mired in poverty, with two-thirds of its 1.3 billion people living on little more than a few dollars day. India’s informal working population numbers nearly 500 million, or approximately 80 percent of the entire labour force. Despite these figures and the related structural disadvantages that imperil the lives of so many, the Indian elite maintain that the poor need only work harder and they, too, can become rich. The results of this ambitious ten-year ethnography at exclusive golf clubs in Bangalore shatter such self-serving illusions. In Narrow Fairways, Patrick Inglis combines participant observation, interviews, and archival research to show how social mobility among the poor lower-caste golf caddies who carry the golf sets of wealthy upper-caste members at these clubs is ultimately constrained and narrowed. The book highlights how elites secure and extend class and caste privileges, while also delivering a necessary rebuke to India’s present development strategy, which pays far too little attention to promoting quality health care, education, and other basic social services that would deliver real opportunities to the poor.


About the speakerPatrick Inglis is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Grinnell College. He teaches and writes on labour, inequality, and global development. His first book centres on the lives of poor and lower-caste caddies who carry the golf sets of members at exclusive clubs in Bangalore, India. In addition to ongoing research on poverty alleviation at an English language boarding school outside Bangalore, he is also developing a new project on the attitudes and dispositions of elites in Mexico City.


About the Changing India Series: M.N. Srinivas, a major sociologist of modern India and a key figure in the history of NIAS, was deeply invested in understanding how the Indian social and political landscape developed after Independence, sometimes taking unexpected turns. Building on the social thought of Prof. Srinivas, the ‘Changing India’ series of lectures, events and workshops at NIAS hosts key academics, writers, public intellectuals, artists and social justice activists to reflect on some of the pertinent questions of our time.



For further information, please contact. Mr. Snehashish Mitra <>  

Monday, October 21, 2019
Organised by: 
NIAS Lecture Hall