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'Mongrel City': Cosmopolitan neighbourliness in a Delhi squatter settlement

Datta, A (2012) 'Mongrel City': Cosmopolitan neighbourliness in a Delhi squatter settlement. Antipode: a radical journal of geography, 44 (3). 745 - 763 . ISSN 0066-4812

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Abstract

This paper examines the construction of a ‘cosmopolitan neighbourliness’ which emerges in a Delhi squatter settlement in the context of communal violence. Through interviews with over 80 inhabitants, I suggest that an openness to ‘others’ in the settlement is produced in order to construct a home for oneself in an exclusionary city through a series of relational constructs – between the ‘cosmopolitan’ city and the ‘parochial’ village; between the ‘murderous’ city and the ‘compassionate’ slum; between the exclusionary urban public sphere and the ‘inclusive’ neighbourhood sphere. The squatter settlement is internalised as a microcosm of a ‘mongrel city’, a place which through its set of oppositional constructs becomes inherently ‘urban’. ‘Cosmopolitan neighbourliness’ on the other hand remains fragile and gendered. It is a continuous strategic practice that attempts to bridge across differences of caste and religion through gendered performances that avert and discourage communal violence even when the city becomes murderous.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2012, Wiley Blackwell. This is an author produced version of a paper published in Antipode. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The definitive version is available at www3.interscience.wiley.com
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Geography (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2012 16:04
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 02:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00928.x
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-8330.2011.00928.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74768

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