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“You can call it a Mufassil Town, but nothing less” : Worlding the new census towns of India

Sircar, Srilata LU (2018) In Geoforum 91. p.216-226
Abstract

In the census of 2011 in India, more than 2500 new settlements have been classified as urban. Placed under the category of ‘census towns’, not much is known about the urbanization processes unfolding at these sites. This article presents learnings from a qualitative case study of a town in West Bengal, to argue that not only do census towns represent a subaltern urbanization but also that they are produced through a range of parallel and competing projects and practices that do not lend themselves to any easy and formulaic understanding of the urban. Borrowing the idea of “worlding” as a conceptual tool to make sense of these processes, I argue that persistent hierarchies of power in the form of caste relations, form the foundation of... (More)

In the census of 2011 in India, more than 2500 new settlements have been classified as urban. Placed under the category of ‘census towns’, not much is known about the urbanization processes unfolding at these sites. This article presents learnings from a qualitative case study of a town in West Bengal, to argue that not only do census towns represent a subaltern urbanization but also that they are produced through a range of parallel and competing projects and practices that do not lend themselves to any easy and formulaic understanding of the urban. Borrowing the idea of “worlding” as a conceptual tool to make sense of these processes, I argue that persistent hierarchies of power in the form of caste relations, form the foundation of this urbanization process even as multiple and divergent claims and discourses seek to mould the making of the town. This calls for renewed attention to the question of social justice when reading Indian urbanization.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Census towns, India, Subaltern urbanization, West Bengal, Worlding
in
Geoforum
volume
91
pages
11 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85043571596
ISSN
0016-7185
DOI
10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.02.011
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
6ea4e3f2-9e99-43de-bb78-c4cf1171b955
date added to LUP
2018-03-26 12:34:04
date last changed
2019-04-10 04:05:19
@article{6ea4e3f2-9e99-43de-bb78-c4cf1171b955,
  abstract     = {<p>In the census of 2011 in India, more than 2500 new settlements have been classified as urban. Placed under the category of ‘census towns’, not much is known about the urbanization processes unfolding at these sites. This article presents learnings from a qualitative case study of a town in West Bengal, to argue that not only do census towns represent a subaltern urbanization but also that they are produced through a range of parallel and competing projects and practices that do not lend themselves to any easy and formulaic understanding of the urban. Borrowing the idea of “worlding” as a conceptual tool to make sense of these processes, I argue that persistent hierarchies of power in the form of caste relations, form the foundation of this urbanization process even as multiple and divergent claims and discourses seek to mould the making of the town. This calls for renewed attention to the question of social justice when reading Indian urbanization.</p>},
  author       = {Sircar, Srilata},
  issn         = {0016-7185},
  keyword      = {Census towns,India,Subaltern urbanization,West Bengal,Worlding},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  pages        = {216--226},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Geoforum},
  title        = {“You can call it a Mufassil Town, but nothing less” : Worlding the new census towns of India},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2018.02.011},
  volume       = {91},
  year         = {2018},
}