Of Slumdogs, Doxosophers, and the (In)dignity of Labour(ers)

Abstract:
This paper seeks to critique the majority opinion among Indian and Indian origin intellectuals who largely criticized the film “Slumdog Millionaire” for what was seen as a stereotypical portrayal of poverty and slums. Instead I seek to read the film in a different way based on research on urban aspirations and mobility in Mumbai.The paper adopts a more Ambedkarite perspective in understanding issues of labour, poverty, and social change in urban India within a larger context of global flows. The paper uses the Ambedkarite perspective in critiquing conventional academically oriented marxist, liberal, and post-modernist critiques of Slumdog Millionaire. In the process it attempts to generate a more nuanced view of the role of market forces and India’s new service economy in transforming the caste and status determined opportunity structure in urban India.

Full paper: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2096954

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