By the middle of the twenty-first century, more than fifty per cent of the world's population will live in an urban environment. Most of this new urban growth will take place in Asia and Africa, yet most governments in these two continents seem woefully unprepared for the challenges they will face in providing their urban citizens with the basic services and security from poverty, environmental degradation and crime. It is in this context that in-depth studies which lay bare the contours and characteristics of society and institutions in the urban setting of Third World countries assume importance and urgency. Most studies on urbanisation in developing countries concentrate on slums and shanty towns in isolation from the rest of the society. By contrast, Social Formation in Dhaka, 1985-2005 analyses urbanisation and urban society in a holistic manner, connecting the poor with the non-poor and delineating the change agents of the city. As the first longitudinal study of the social structure of any Third World Megacity, this book will be of interest to urban sociologists, policy-makers, NGOS, and researchers engaged in understanding the development in cities in the global south.
'Social Formation in Dhaka, 1985-2005 is the most comprehensive and up-to-date work on the subject. The authors distinguish several social groups, namely, the residents of government quarters; the educated middle class; the richest people; the formal sector poor; the informal sector poor; beggars, prostitutes and criminals; special areas and groups. … The book will be the authoritative compendium for Dhaka’s social formation for many years to come. It sets a fine example of academic rigour and is an excellent starting point for more, and more detailed, research on the City.' Internationales Asienforum 'There could be various dimensions of studying changes in a rapidly growing capital city like Dhaka. However, studying it in terms of social formation is not very common. This painstaking and complex task has been sincerely and aptly accomplished by the learned authors of this book, in which they have vividly portrayed the social changes in Dhaka city over a period of twenty years (1985-2005). … This book written by Siddiqui et al. could be termed a 'landmark study' in the field of urban sociology of Bangladesh. The book will be of use to policy planners. Although it is purely a research-based work, it may also be of interest to those who are not very much concerned about research and its methods but want to know about the people of Dhaka. The chapters are so well organised and chapter designing is so appropriate that it almost reads like a novel, which one would want to read from the beginning to the end.' The Financial Express This comprehensive and unique analysis provides important insight into pressing issues of urban 'development and the constitution of its actors, especially as statistical data on the livelihoods of Dhaka’s inhabitants are scarce and longitudinal analyses of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data sets on Dhaka have not yet been conducted. The book’s presentation of results specifically underlines how over the years some population