1st Edition

Social City Urban Experience and Belonging in Surat

By Sadan Jha Copyright 2022
    248 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    248 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    248 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge India

    This book examines urban experience from the vantage point of the global South. Drawing upon narratives coming from three key axes—communities, neighbourhoods, and market places—it lays bare the specificities of urban experience in contemporary Surat. It discusses a host of issues, including the ambiguity of urban experience, its uncomfortable ties with frames of the capital, and the politics of urban belonging that operate at multiple levels, shaping the contours of urban society. Musing on the subjectivities pertaining to the social and the spatial in a milieu of a fast-transforming urban landscape of Surat, Gujarat, the book is an exploration of how people perceive and associate with their surroundings, how they aspire, how they stigmatise others, the relation between the city and its migrants and castes, and at a broader level, between the capital and the city.

    An important contribution to the study of cities, the volume sheds light on how urban experience can be approached as a socially and spatially embedded concept. It will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of social history, urban sociology, urban studies, global South, and South Asia.

    List of Figures

    List of Tables




    Chapter 1: Surat: An Overview

    Chapter 2: Caste in a Contemporary City

    Chapter 3: Cityscapes and Dalit Desires

    Chapter 4: A City of Migrants

    Chapter 5: Neighbourhoods

    Chapter 6: What Dwells in the Market Place?





    Sadan Jha works on issues related to social and everyday life of cities in South Asia, history of visuality, symbols (Indian national Flag, Spinning Wheel and Bharat Mata), and history of colours. His publications include Reverence, Resistance and the Politics of Seeing the Indian National Flag (2016); Devanagari Jagat ki Drishya Sanskriti (2018); Half Set Chay aur Kuchh Youn Hi (2018); Neighbourhoods in Urban India: In Between Home and the City, (edited along with Dev Nath Pathak and Amiya Kumar Das, 2021); Leaving and Living: Home, Belonging and Memory in Migration, (edited along with Pushpendra, 2021); Neighbourhoods and neighbourliness in Urban South Asia (edited along with Dev Nath Pathak, 2022), and a number of academic as well as non-academic articles. He is currently Associate Professor at Centre for Social Studies, Surat, India.