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Un‐Fare: “Local” Share‐Auto Rickshaw Drivers and the Work of Belonging in the Midst of Urban Change in India's “IT Capital”

Un‐Fare: “Local” Share‐Auto Rickshaw Drivers and the Work of Belonging in the Midst of Urban... In Bengaluru, India's “IT capital,” global capital and processes of world city‐making valorize specific kinds of work and workers as “formal” while categorizing others as “informal,” “chaotic” and “unregulated.” This article draws attention to the work of share‐auto rickshaw driving among local men from formerly farmland‐owning households in a rapidly urbanizing pocket in peripheral Bengaluru. Why do these drivers, whose work is situated outside of visions of world‐classness, engage in the practices that they do? How do processes of urbanization shape how they see and situate themselves and their work in the city? This article argues that the drivers construct themselves as urban laboring subjects through their deep ties with place. Their identity as “local” refers to new manifestations of their ties to agrarian land and life, their place‐based knowledge in providing transport services, their selfhood, and their logic of operation. Local is also a discursive strategy that differentiates their work from that of non‐locals (or “outsiders”), and situates their work as neither formal nor informal. In illuminating the experiences of urban transformation among members of this driving community, this article asserts that local is the drivers’ way of co‐opting the urban present. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png City & Society Wiley

Un‐Fare: “Local” Share‐Auto Rickshaw Drivers and the Work of Belonging in the Midst of Urban Change in India's “IT Capital”

City & Society , Volume 34 (2-3) – Aug 1, 2022

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 American Anthropological Association.
ISSN
0893-0465
eISSN
1548-744X
DOI
10.1111/ciso.12440
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In Bengaluru, India's “IT capital,” global capital and processes of world city‐making valorize specific kinds of work and workers as “formal” while categorizing others as “informal,” “chaotic” and “unregulated.” This article draws attention to the work of share‐auto rickshaw driving among local men from formerly farmland‐owning households in a rapidly urbanizing pocket in peripheral Bengaluru. Why do these drivers, whose work is situated outside of visions of world‐classness, engage in the practices that they do? How do processes of urbanization shape how they see and situate themselves and their work in the city? This article argues that the drivers construct themselves as urban laboring subjects through their deep ties with place. Their identity as “local” refers to new manifestations of their ties to agrarian land and life, their place‐based knowledge in providing transport services, their selfhood, and their logic of operation. Local is also a discursive strategy that differentiates their work from that of non‐locals (or “outsiders”), and situates their work as neither formal nor informal. In illuminating the experiences of urban transformation among members of this driving community, this article asserts that local is the drivers’ way of co‐opting the urban present.

Journal

City & SocietyWiley

Published: Aug 1, 2022

Keywords: Urbanization; Auto Rickshaw; Urban Periphery; Transport; Livelihood

References