Choice of Indicators

To understand the notion of embeddedness of city space, several social attributes have been identified as proxy variables (Table 1) such as child sex ratio, female literacy and female work participation rates. These are attributes interconnected with lives of women in general since these are significantly conditioned by the location- specific societal norms and dictates. It is argued that social embeddedness as a phenomenon is best explained through the lives of women, since they are the mediators, agents as well as the targets of social change. (Sopher 1980a, b; Raju 1988, 2007).

Selection of Wards, Localities and Samples for Primary Survey

Female literacy was taken as the most important social indicator that has a bearing on many other factors (Kundu et al. 2002; Sen 2001) for identification of wards to be surveyed. The wards were ranked and grouped into three categories: high, medium and low. The average literacy levels were calculated individually for these three categories. Next, two wards whose literacy levels were closest to the average figure of that strata were chosen as the wards from where localities were selected for carrying out the fieldwork. Thus, in all six wards were identified, two from each literacy zones.

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) divides the 2340 colonies spreading across 134 wards as per their payment of property tax. Once the wards were selected, the localities were identified. It was important that the localities have some homogeneity—for this the MCD zonations for tax purposes was used as a basis. The extreme ends of taxation zones were not included. It is to be noted that low literacy wards were invariably falling into category E which also occupied the lower wrung of the taxation hierarchy. The localities falling within the category D (Ward No. 11, 14, 9 and 32) and E (58 and 33) were chosen since they represented the middle income colonies (Map 1).

Map 1 Female literacy in Delhi

It was assumed that people who are staying in such localities also fall within the same economic group. It needs to be mentioned here, that high and medium literacy wards fell under the ‘D’ category, whereas low literacy wards fell under the ‘E’ category. From the chosen localities, 300 (50 from each locality) samples in total were collected. The respondents were chosen from amongst women between the age groups 22-45 years.

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