By Ananya Roy
Housing advancements emerge amid the paddy fields at the fringes of Calcutta; overflowing trains hold peasant girls to casual city exertions markets in an everyday shuttle opposed to starvation; land is settled and claimed in a fancy choreography of squatting and evictions: such, Ananya Roy contends, are the distinct areas of a communism for the hot millennium-where, at a second of liberalization, the hegemony of poverty is quietly reproduced. An ethnography of city improvement in Calcutta, Roy's e-book explores the dynamics of sophistication and gender within the patience of poverty. urban Requiem, Calcutta emphasizes how gender itself is spatialized, and the way gender family members are negotiated in the geopolitics of modernity and during the standard practices of territory. hence Roy indicates how city developmentalism, in its populist guise, reproduces the kinfolk of masculinist patronage, and, in its entrepreneurial guise, seeks to reclaim a bourgeois Calcutta, gentlemanly in its nostalgias. In doing so, her paintings expands the sphere of poverty reports via exhibiting how a politics of poverty can be a poverty of data, a development and administration of social and spatial different types. Ananya Roy is assistant professor of city reports within the division of urban and neighborhood making plans on the collage of California, Berkeley.
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Extra resources for City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (Globalization and Community)
But if the village-level studies have documented the consolidation of an agrarian elite as well as the marginalization of the rural landless, then they have also been surprisingly silent on the nature and dynamics of this exclusion. How do the landless survive? Through seasonal migration, as shown by Rogaly (1994) in his study of agricultural labor? Through tenuous access to common property resources, as revealed by Beck (1994)? By simply dropping out of the village economy through permanent migration, as suggested by Bhattacharya and Chattopadhyay’s (1989) longitudinal survey of villages?
Lisbon Story ends on a note of modernist innocence, mainly because, while Wenders questions the privilege to see, he does not extend this interrogation to the privilege to hear. It is the freedom of the sound engineer to roam the city that makes possible this final recovery of innocence. The privilege to hear, to even eavesdrop, is also often unquestioned in ethnographies. Rather, it is the freedom to translate into words, to represent in writing, what Rich (1984, 326) calls “verbal privilege,” that is in question.
While these qualitative methods gave me a general profile of the settlements, some of the most crucial moments in fieldwork were beyond their ken. Here, ethnographic methods including life histories became crucial, throwing the spotlight on the unanticipated categories and unimagined geographies that could be glimpsed at fieldwork nodes. I thus interpret the interview data in light of intensive ethnographic fieldwork with thirty-two—twenty-five migrant and seven commuter—households. If the more structured qualitative methods outline the contours of poverty, then the ethnographic methods capture its sociospatial dynamics.
City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty (Globalization and Community) by Ananya Roy