Rashmi Sadana F'19

Rashmi  Sadana
Associate Professor
Sociology and Anthropology
George Mason University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2019
Associate Professor
Sociology and Anthropology
George Mason University
Gender, Urban Space, and Everyday Life in the Age of the Delhi Metro, 2002-2018

The arrival of the Delhi Metro—an ultramodern urban rail system and South Asia’s first major, multi-line metro—has become a touchstone for discussions of urban development, gendered social mobility, and India’s increasingly aspirational culture. A street-level ethnographic view of the city, this project captures the contradictions inherent in the spread of a globalized middle-class modernity that privileges capital interests in urban planning—the “world-class” city model—vis-à-vis the attempt to equalize the urban experience through infrastructure. The project delves into these contradictions through the stories of Metro riders, officials, architects, urban planners, government bureaucrats, and politicians; descriptions of different social and geographical landscapes in the city; and comparisons with other forms of circulation such as cars, buses, and auto-, cycle-, and e-rickshaws. In turn, it examines the Metro as a set of new public spaces in the city and a reflection of the politics of a changing urban landscape.