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Showing posts with the label slums

New Publication out on Digital Leisure and Slums of Urban India

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Nimmi Rangaswamy from Xerox Research Labs in India and I have been working for some years now on this theme and topic of digital leisure in the global South. We have been arguing for a shift in perspective on internet behavior of emerging market consumers, particularly those who are marginalized socio-economically. Instead of looking at their behavior through a mainly utilitarian lens, we argue that even (or arguably especially) the poor engage with new technologies for more social, playful and entertainment ends. 
Here is our paper published by the International Journal of Cultural Studies that substantiates this argument with fieldwork data in urban slums of India, validating our call for a new approach in examining digital practices among these 'newbie' consumers of the global south. 
The abstract for this paper is as follows:  The wild and the everyday point at once to twinned aspects of life and, in this article, to a technological imaginary drawing upon the use of the mobil…

The City & South Asia: Digital romance in the Indian city

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Nimmi Rangaswamy and I wrote a chapter on 'digital romance in the Indian city' based on our years of fieldwork in slums of India - on how the youth are engaging and participating on social media in ways that are creative, romantic and deeply social. This series, The City & South Asia is an exciting and accessible anthology of voices from diverse scholars on urbanism, South Asia and contemporary issues and developments in emerging markets. The best part is this is open access -what all scholarship should be in the 21st Century -good going Harvard University Press!

Gawk and Learn?

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Theme parks of the most unique kind are springing up everywhere! Leisure is taking a new turn. Recently Kunming, an area of 13,000 acres in southern China’s Yunnan Province is being converted into a Disney land of the little people. Tourists can come by to immerse in the spectacle of dwarfs performing and living at the same time; it’s a veritable live reality show.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/04/world/asia/04dwarfs.html?em

Are these frozen realities that we choose not to see? Will we wake up and feel more inclined to think about disability more deeply or have we made disability exotic here? And even if it has been made exotic, can we argue that perhaps it is still better to be visible than invisible?

Or take for instance the efforts of harnessing the ready-made reality of slums in Mumbai, India, as a tourist attraction to educate and entertain. Packaged tours of poverty sold for the common good? Dharavi, Asia’s largest slum covers an area of 530 acres and sweeps you with experiences…