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Date and time:
Dec. 2, 2021 6:30PM - 8:00PM
Venue: Online (Zoom)
Migration Lecture Series, Lecture – 19
Ethnic wage-welfare complex: Migration as a lens to understand capitalist landscapes in India
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Migration provides insights into the shaping of capitalist geography, especially the dialectic between homogenisation and differentiation in the production of space. Taking two field sites in the district of Ernakulam in Kerala, South India where migrant labour from North and North East India work - a port building site and a Sunday market frequented by migrant workers, it analyses wages, place-making and unions as distinct loci around which this dialectic between homogenisation and differentiation plays out. The port building site, managed by capital that is global and heterogeneous, represents a reorganisation of space carried out by the state. It involved institutional reworking that facilitated the entry of transnational capital and state rescaling. The Sunday market, on the other hand, is a more complex site where the agency of the migrant labour and that of the state produce a convivial yet politically contested space.
Brief Bio of Dr. Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma
Mythri is a Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Place, Culture and Politics, Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is a critical geographer whose research interests primarily revolve around migration and urban transformation in contemporary India. She received her PhD from the Centre for Development Studies in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Building on political economy, radical geography and ethnographic methods, her doctoral research traces the different types of recruitment of migrants and local Malayali workers that reflect political contests and settlements between trade unions, corporate construction companies and recruitment agencies. She is currently working on her book manuscript "Migration and Production of Space: Labour, Capital and the State in Kerala, India". Among her recent publications are two articles: “Cards and Carriers: Politics of identification in Kerala, South India” in Contemporary South Asia and “The Cultural Politics of Wages: Ethnography of construction work in Kochi, India” in Contributions to Indian Sociology.
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