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Lecture | Lunch Research Seminar

Fragmented Marginalities: Dispossessed Peasantry and Migrant Labour Communities in Urban North India

Tuesday 16 April 2024

Verbarium (1.04, first floor)


All are welcome, however please register in advance at l-peg@hum.leidenuniv.nl to receive a copy of the paper and lunch.


Like in the Euro-American context, Indian cities are usually conceptualised as polarising socio-spatial forms where a range of communities - pushed to the peripheries of ‘development’ – come to constitute the ‘urban margins’. However, such conceptualisations rarely interrogate the varied aspects of marginality embedded within those spaces. Drawing from an ethnographic work with dispossessed peasantry (in ‘urban villages’) and migrant poor (in squatter colonies or jhuggis) in the north Indian city of Noida, we unpack three interrelated aspects of marginality in this paper. First, the process of marginalisation; second, how different communities negotiate with their marginal status differently; and third, the evolving social relations within each community in the process. Overall, we argue for a reorientation of urban marginality discourses from theorising a ‘deviation from a standard’ to an understanding of complex and fragmented communities with an equal claim to the city. 

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