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Labour migration and dislocation in India’s silicon valley

Bowers, Rebecca (2021) Labour migration and dislocation in India’s silicon valley. City and Society, 33 (3). 542 - 563. ISSN 0893-0465

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Identification Number: 10.1111/ciso.12417


The migrant families who build India’s cities do so to meet practical and ritual aspirations rooted in the village, undergoing spatial and temporal fragmentation to maintain rural longevity and the possibilities of ritual time. This article contributes an alternative position to linear-framed presumptions of migration and urbanity, illustrating instead how everyday experiences of dislocation can be productive through labor, timespace, and imagination; bridging the gulf between residence on urban construction sites in Bengaluru, southern India, and desired village homes. However, lived experiences of dislocation remain stratified by gender and class, leading to highly conjugated experiences of precarity, mobility, and possibility. Despite the urban ambivalence felt by women and girls as a result, a shared experience of dislocation enables entire families to undertake the grueling yet regenerative work of circular migration, ensuring the continuation and renewal of village life and ritual time through its incompleteness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 American Anthropological Association
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 14:27
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2022 11:21

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