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Spheres of Marginality in the Urban Space: Exploring Interconnections in a Global City


· Priyanka Nupur Jawaharlal Nehru University (Delhi, India)


07/28 | 18:10-18:30 UTC+2/CEST


The anchor of the concept of marginalisation shifted from economic rationality to the socio-cultural realm by 1980s. The new social movements claimed that rather than class, marginalisation was rooted in the categories of identity, gender and sexuality. However, substantively speaking, the nature of marginalisation is not restricted to any one category. These different categories (class, identity, gender, and sexuality) are mostly overlapping and this complicates the nature of marginalisation. To study marginalisation in the contemporary world, we need more nuanced theoretical approaches that help to develop an intersectional conceptualisation of marginalisation. Nancy Fraser’s conception of social justice as participatory parity provides an important framework to approach this question. Through the case study of Delhi, this paper argues that marginalisation in urban space (especially in the global city) is constituted by the complex interplay of class and socio-cultural location of people. Engaging with the categories of caste and class of migrants in Delhi, the paper illustrates that although the dynamics of caste in cities experience various discontinuities in the spatial and temporal terms, it nevertheless becomes imbricated with class to produce new dynamics of marginalisation which impacts participatory parity in the city. The Global city, despite all its glamour and promises of economic advancement (irrespective of socio-cultural identities), continues to combine different categories of marginalisation to reproduce it in new and complicated forms.