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Wandering in a mall: aspirations and family among young urban poor men in Delhi

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  • Emilija Zabiliute
In post-reform India, urban spaces have been redefined and reoriented towards the consumer public and are becoming increasingly segregated along class lines. While most of the scholarly attention has focused on the marginalization and segregation generated by anti-poor development in cities like Delhi, which aim to be ‘world-class’, less attention has been paid to the ways in which the poor experience the city and its middle-class consumer-oriented localities. In this article, I explore the ways in which urban poor young men who live in a squatter settlement on the fringes of the city aspire to social mobility as they wander in Delhi’s middle-class consumer-oriented spaces. Wandering (ghūmnā) is evaluated differently by young men and their parents, pointing to generational and gendered distinctions. For young men, such wandering is a means to participate in the consumer culture, while their families evaluate it as a waste of time and useless (bekār) behaviour. By placing aspirations in a temporal perspective, I show how the young men adjust their aspirations relationally, as they take up new roles as carers of their families.
TidsskriftContemporary South Asia
Sider (fra-til)1-14
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 23 aug. 2016

ID: 164893565