In the micro study region – South Kanara – there was an emergence of multiple labor relations. A theory of ‘extended subalterns’ has been used to examine this phenomenon. In the pre- modern period, one can note a typical feudal society with its elements such as serfdom and the dependency of workers on masters. A comparison with Gujarat and Kerala, other parts of the western coast of India, has further clarified the argument of the domination of unfree labor. In reality, there was a movement from free labor to unfree labor. The article attempts to go beyond traditional Marxist notions and tools of analysis by showing that free labor did not replace unfree labor. Studies of the global context have enriched the research concerning this region.
South Kanara, India, “Extended subalterns”, Serfdom, From free labour to unfree labour