GEXcel Gender Talks Series
Romit Chowhury (Erasmus University College, Rotterdam, NL)
"City of Men: Masculinities, Cooperation, and Everyday Morality on Public Transport"
In South Asian urban landscapes, men are everywhere. And yet we do not seem to know very much about precisely what men do in the city as men. How do men experience gender in city spaces? What are the interactional dynamics between different groups of men on city streets? How do men adjudicate between good and bad conduct in urban spaces? Based on my forthcoming monograph, this presentation brings into sight the gendered logics of cooperation and everyday morality through which masculinities take up space in cities.
It follows the labor geographies of autorickshaw and taxi operators and their interactions with traffic police and commuters in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata to argue that the gendered fabric of urban life needs to be understood as a product of situational forms of cooperation between different social groups. If cities are spaces of patriarchal power, this is to be partially explained by the everyday morality and provisional forms of support that transpire between strangers on the move in urban settings.
Romit Chowdhury is senior lecturer in Sociology at Erasmus University College, Rotterdam.
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