Differentiated citizenship, displacement, and materiality in state–citizen relations in Ahmedabad

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

Abstract

This study examines urban restructuring, citizenship, and the state from the perspective of displaced slum-dwellers in Ahmedabad, India. First, it explores how the state seeks to reconstruct itself and to determine the borders of the nation and good citizenship through world-class infrastructural development. Second, it traces displaced and resettled people’s perceptions about the nature of the state and their relations to it. Third, it analyzes how empirically differentiated citizenship is formed through the entanglement of documents, infrastructure, state and non-state actors, and displaced people. The theoretical framework of the study is based on anthropological analyses of differentiated citizenship and processual, performative, and disaggregated understandings of the state. Methodologically, the study is based on ten months of ethnographic fieldwork in the slum resettlement site of Sadbhavna Nagar, involving participant observation and 58 semi-structured interviews with displaced people/residents of the site. These are combined with analysis of newspaper articles, websites, resettlement- related documents, apartment plans, government brochures, and court proceedings. The findings of the study suggest that good citizenship has been defined in terms of civility, cleanliness, economic prosperity, property ownership, and non-Muslim identity. The everyday reality of citizenship for displaced people was conditioned by their literacy, economic and political clout, religious and caste identity, personal persistence, embeddedness in informal networks, and possession of documents and resettlement apartments. It was also shaped by state officials’ compassion, corruption, mistakes, indifference, and biased attitudes. The main anthropological contribution of the study is its call for citizenship to be viewed as a dynamic, differential everyday reality formed through the entanglement of human and non-human forces via formal and informal relations. Citizenship cannot be analyzed apart from the social, cultural, and material contexts within which it is constructed and on which its various forms depend. The approach takes into account the agency of displaced people as well as state and non-state actors, afforded and constrained by paper documents and concrete housing.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Jyväskylän yliopisto
Place of PublicationJyväskylä
Publisher
Electronic ISBNs978-951-39-7774-0
Publication statusPublished - May 2019
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Fields of Science

  • 5143 Social anthropology
  • bureaucracy
  • citizenship
  • documents
  • imagineering
  • India
  • infrastructure
  • materiality
  • state
  • urban development
  • worlding

Cite this

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title = "Differentiated citizenship, displacement, and materiality in state–citizen relations in Ahmedabad",
abstract = "This study examines urban restructuring, citizenship, and the state from the perspective of displaced slum-dwellers in Ahmedabad, India. First, it explores how the state seeks to reconstruct itself and to determine the borders of the nation and good citizenship through world-class infrastructural development. Second, it traces displaced and resettled people’s perceptions about the nature of the state and their relations to it. Third, it analyzes how empirically differentiated citizenship is formed through the entanglement of documents, infrastructure, state and non-state actors, and displaced people. The theoretical framework of the study is based on anthropological analyses of differentiated citizenship and processual, performative, and disaggregated understandings of the state. Methodologically, the study is based on ten months of ethnographic fieldwork in the slum resettlement site of Sadbhavna Nagar, involving participant observation and 58 semi-structured interviews with displaced people/residents of the site. These are combined with analysis of newspaper articles, websites, resettlement- related documents, apartment plans, government brochures, and court proceedings. The findings of the study suggest that good citizenship has been defined in terms of civility, cleanliness, economic prosperity, property ownership, and non-Muslim identity. The everyday reality of citizenship for displaced people was conditioned by their literacy, economic and political clout, religious and caste identity, personal persistence, embeddedness in informal networks, and possession of documents and resettlement apartments. It was also shaped by state officials’ compassion, corruption, mistakes, indifference, and biased attitudes. The main anthropological contribution of the study is its call for citizenship to be viewed as a dynamic, differential everyday reality formed through the entanglement of human and non-human forces via formal and informal relations. Citizenship cannot be analyzed apart from the social, cultural, and material contexts within which it is constructed and on which its various forms depend. The approach takes into account the agency of displaced people as well as state and non-state actors, afforded and constrained by paper documents and concrete housing.",
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Differentiated citizenship, displacement, and materiality in state–citizen relations in Ahmedabad. / Salmi, Jelena Johanna.

Jyväskylä : Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2019. 237 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph

TY - THES

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AB - This study examines urban restructuring, citizenship, and the state from the perspective of displaced slum-dwellers in Ahmedabad, India. First, it explores how the state seeks to reconstruct itself and to determine the borders of the nation and good citizenship through world-class infrastructural development. Second, it traces displaced and resettled people’s perceptions about the nature of the state and their relations to it. Third, it analyzes how empirically differentiated citizenship is formed through the entanglement of documents, infrastructure, state and non-state actors, and displaced people. The theoretical framework of the study is based on anthropological analyses of differentiated citizenship and processual, performative, and disaggregated understandings of the state. Methodologically, the study is based on ten months of ethnographic fieldwork in the slum resettlement site of Sadbhavna Nagar, involving participant observation and 58 semi-structured interviews with displaced people/residents of the site. These are combined with analysis of newspaper articles, websites, resettlement- related documents, apartment plans, government brochures, and court proceedings. The findings of the study suggest that good citizenship has been defined in terms of civility, cleanliness, economic prosperity, property ownership, and non-Muslim identity. The everyday reality of citizenship for displaced people was conditioned by their literacy, economic and political clout, religious and caste identity, personal persistence, embeddedness in informal networks, and possession of documents and resettlement apartments. It was also shaped by state officials’ compassion, corruption, mistakes, indifference, and biased attitudes. The main anthropological contribution of the study is its call for citizenship to be viewed as a dynamic, differential everyday reality formed through the entanglement of human and non-human forces via formal and informal relations. Citizenship cannot be analyzed apart from the social, cultural, and material contexts within which it is constructed and on which its various forms depend. The approach takes into account the agency of displaced people as well as state and non-state actors, afforded and constrained by paper documents and concrete housing.

KW - 5143 Social anthropology

KW - bureaucracy

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KW - documents

KW - imagineering

KW - India

KW - infrastructure

KW - materiality

KW - state

KW - urban development

KW - worlding

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

T3 - JYU Dissertations

PB - Jyväskylän yliopisto

CY - Jyväskylä

ER -

Salmi JJ. Differentiated citizenship, displacement, and materiality in state–citizen relations in Ahmedabad. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto, 2019. 237 p. (JYU Dissertations; 86).