Knowledge Exchange through Informal Interaction under Complex Social Relations: A Network Study of Handloom Clusters in Kerala, India
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When agents exchange knowledge through informal interaction, their social relations may influence their production relations. We study the Saliyar community cluster in Kerala, India, on how their thickly homophilous networks have led to their decline in the market for a product whose forte is an unchanging production technology. Over-embeddedness is found to be more detrimental when combined with homophily. The conceptual ambit of embeddedness must broaden, and strategies to bridge structural holes must recognise this.