Personal Characteristics of Bihari Migrants: Some Impressions

  • Jyoti Verma Former University Professor of Psychology, Patna University, Patna, Bihar, India
Keywords: Bihari migrants, Bihari people, Migrants, Migration destination Mumbai, Self-perception, Intergroup perception


This paper is part of a major project on ‘Bihari migrants in Mumbai’ whose sample comprised 152 male Bihari migrants and 155 local people of Mumbai. The paper’s observations are based on the migrants’ ‘self-ratings’ of 36 personal attributes associated with the Bihari people and, the ratings of these attributes by the local people of Mumbai. The rating scores were factor analysed for studying the factors of the migrants’ ‘self-perception,’ local people’s ‘perception,’ and the common factors of the migrants’ overall personal characteristics extracted through a combined sample score. The results showed that the migrants mainly ‘self-categorized’ themselves significantly highly on positive attributes, while the local people on the negative ones. Despite whose ratings were used, the factor analysis results suggested two prominent strands in the Bihari people’s overall image. One was positive and seemingly represented the core feature of the Bihari people. It described the migrants as, simple, modest and sensitive towards others’ feelings.The other aspect was negative and described the migrants as law breakers and quarrelsome in case of the migrant’s own self-perception, dishonest and law breakers according to the combined sample factor and law breakers and untrustworthy as regards to the Marathi people’s perception. Some anomalies were also observed in the configuration of the factors extracted from the rating scores of different instances (i.e., migrants’ self-ratings, local people’s perception-based ratings, and the combined sample scores).


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