‘Complicating the ‘Muslim ghetto’ in urban India’
February 20 @ 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm
Date: 20th February, 2019 (Wednesday)
Time: 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Venue: AC 01 TR 101
Abstract: Many scholars have argued that discrimination against Muslims is widespread in urban Indian housing markets, fueled by histories of communal violence, and leading to permanent ‘ghettoization’. This perspective is supported by sound ethnographic evidence in many places, but has been hard to substantiate in quantitative ways for lack of appropriately fine grained demographic data. My paper resolves this problem by exploiting the religious connotations of voters’ names on electoral rolls, replacing coarse Census figures with several hundred times more detailed data. This allows me to map and quantitatively compare the extent of religious segregation across all eleven cities studied in the seminal volume on ‘Muslims in Indian cities’ edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot (Hurst 2012). This reveals that the statistically most segregated cities are not necessarily those considered most ‘ghettoized’ and vice versa, reinforcing how important the means, rather than mere extent, of segregation are for processes of ‘ghettoization’.
Speaker’s Bio: Dr. Raphael Susewind is a political anthropologist of urban India with degrees in political science, area studies and a PhD in sociology / social anthropology. Since 2017, he is working as a Lecturer in Social Anthropology & Development at the Department of International Development, King’s College London.
Using a distinct mix of ethnographic and Big Data methods grounded in long-term fieldwork, his research explores geographies of Muslim belonging, the ambivalence of the sacred and electoral politics in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. He is the author of ‘Being Muslim and working for peace: Ambivalence and ambiguity in Gujarat’ (SAGE 2013) and have published in journals such as Economic & Political Weekly, Environment and Planning A, Field Methods, the Journal of South Asian Development and SAMAJ (see publications). He have also written research software and curate a comprehensive open dataset on religion and politics in India. For more about him, please visit his website at ‘https://www.raphael-susewind.de/content/curriculum-vitae’.