Filtering class through space : security guards and urban territories in Delhi, India

Abstract : Security guards have become a fixture of a city like Delhi. They stand on duty in every upper and middle-class neighborhood and in every mall. I ask : what are the effects of security guards on the city of Delhi. It does not appear that the criminality in Delhi would justify the recruitment and deployment of a quarter of a million men —who are not successful in stopping criminality against women. It appears that the role of security guards is to mark the territory that they keep on watch as belonging to the upper and middle-classes. The first chapter exposes in details the methodology employed for data collection. The second one proposes a “phenomenology of security guards”, that is, a close description of who they are and the work they do. Their work interrogates on the making and unmaking of public space. The third chapter pays attention to the legal framework and shows that the laws framing the work of security guards are neither coherent, neither respected. This should not be interpreted like a weakening of the state but rather like a reinforcement of the domination of middle and upper-class over the control of the city. In the fourth chapters I deploy the vocabulary of political economy to explain the role played in it by private security guardianship. I show that it participates in keeping at bay crisis by absorbing a significant surplus population. The system that permits the guards to work rests on a gendered division of labor which they contribute to reinforce by keeping Delhi’s street masculine
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Damien Carrière. Filtering class through space : security guards and urban territories in Delhi, India. Geography. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité; University of Minnesota, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018USPCC026⟩. ⟨tel-02125164⟩

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