Contemporary Bombay: Globalisation and Identity Politics

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 12/11/2012
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Location
Monash Asia Institute, Room H5.95, Building H

Category(ies) No Categories


Monash Asia Seminars – MAI Seminar Series

Prof Sujata Patel
University of Hyderabad

One of the paradoxes of contemporary processes of globalisation is the spiralling of the market of cultural goods in tandem with the articulation of the politics of nativism. These two levels of cultural expressions are being continuously manifested in tandem as ‘double articulation’ in many cities of underdeveloped countries. Since the early 1970s and particularly the 1980s Bombay’s geography and its economy has changed significantly. Its economy has become reorganised in terms of its integration in the global market of services and consumer goods (producer services: financial, administrative, advertising, marketing, film and media, fashion, event organisation and so on). Together with this integration there has been a geographical dispersion of the city that has dispossessed many poor slum residents of residential rights in various parts of the city (North and North east areas) while there has been simultaneous contraction and dilapidation of space (south Bombay).

It is in these crevices of contraction and dilapidation and dispossession and displacement we can note the emergence and growth of organised (caste and communal tensions) and non-organised violence (everyday covert violence) and of two kinds of protests in the city-that which organises the slum dwellers for their rights (National Alliance of People’s Movements) and the regrouping of the nativist movement (Maharshtra Navnirman Sena) which is demanding the eviction of non-Marathi speaking migrants. The presentation will argue that these processes are a manifestation of contemporary forms of flexible accumulation which creates two groups: the upper classes and the mobile global elite and the lower classes that are locked in places/slums and which are constantly being threatened and dislocated.

Sujata Patel is a sociologist at the University of Hyderabad. An historical sensibility and a combination of four perspectives-Marxism, feminism, spatial studies and post structuralism/ post colonialism influences her work which covers diverse areas such as modernity and social theory, history of sociology/social sciences, city-formation, social movements, gender construction, reservation, quota politics and caste and class formations in India. She is also an active interlocutor of teaching and learning practices, its reconstitution within the classroom, University structures and through national and international professional bodies.

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