Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies

Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies

Chatterjee, Ipsita. Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies. New Delhi: Sage, 2014.

 

There is something to be said for being well-travelled. After completing my Scottish Highers in 1989, I travelled extensively. The countries I visited include but not limited to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, France, and India. This was years before I had the pleasure of taking Geography of the United States and Canada, a University of North Texas upper level geography course with Dr. Ipsita Chatterjee. There is much to see and do. The world is your oyster. What is holding you back?

Being well-travelled gives one experiences that would be missed if one was to choose to stay at home. Staying at home, for some people, might be due to the fact that finances do not allow for travelling to the parts of the world which excite them. Not everyone can afford to travel. Some people opt to read about what it is that interests them about the rest of the world. If you have an interest in India, reading Chatterjee’s book Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies is a good place to begin.

Chatterjee, an assistant professor in the Department of Geography, University of North Texas, provides significant insight into various social and economic issues pertaining to India as a whole. It is not lost on me that this geographer is able to write so succinctly about human geography, globalization, and politics. The evidence of her accomplishments speaks volumes. She has written for Place and Culture, Urban Studies, Geoforum, Gender, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

There is no denying the author has a political agenda. This is evident in the way she uses a political economic perspective to connect with her target audience. Evidence suggests her latest point of interest is urbanization and urban transformation, issues that have resulted into multiple social and economic problems in the affected societies. As observed in the many passages I have diligently read, this interest in urbanization and globalization has led Chatterjee to identifying various social, economic, political and cultural issues.[1]

Chatterjee writes, “As I waited to get an interview with the commissioner of AMC, Akhibhai’s statement… continued to disturb me as he chatted on happily. Akhibhai was drawing my attention to an ontological shift in urban governance that has been termed ‘new urban politics’ (NUP) in Anglo-American literature (Cox 1993; Hall and Hubbard 1996; MacLeod 2002, 2011).

Many of the issues Chatterjee explores, she attributes the problems of which to the exploitation of labour, gratification, racism, ethnicity, class segregations, urban conflicts, violence, religious fundamentalism and identity politics.[2] [3] There is much debate about what it is Chatterjee has expressed in her writings; however, many scholars approve of most of what has been written. The reason for this is self-evident. These writings address the most fundamental issues affecting modern societies.

Chatterjee’s approach to social issues has also been approved of by many of her peers because she painstakingly employed a scientific investigative methodology to what she was researching.[4] The research conducted in and around the city of Ahmedabad is a quintessential example of Chatterjee’s work. She uses examples of third world locations where the impact of urbanizations and globalization have been felt, for instance, India and Sabarmati River Front Development (SRFD) project, to demonstrate the impacts of exploitation.

One of the unique methods Chatterjee employs is the development of theories which help readers understand the relationships associated with various variables that exist in what she is describing. A good example of this, contextually speaking, is the way the geographer presents a unique theory which somehow teleports readers from the first world to the third world and back. This is a remarkable device of literary genius. Chatterjee’s theory is unique in that its reverse cannot be true.

Generally speaking, if it is even possible to speak generally about such a work of genius, what Chatterjee has written delves deeper than what is presented on the surface. This text presents to the reader an unwavering truthful account of the suffering and exploitation of the poor, factor arising from globalization and urbanization. There is no denying that what is presented here will open eyes and minds to what the world is truly like. This is the reality of the situation. Only the blind, those that choose not to see, will tell you otherwise.

Endnotes

[1] Leyshon, A., R. Lee, L. McDowell, and P. Sunley. The SAGE handbook of economic geography. Thousand Oaks, Calif: : Sage, 2011

[2] Relph, E. Place and placelessness, London: Pion, 1976

[3] Chatterjee, Ipsita. “Applying models of conflict negotiation to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Ahmedabad, India: Implications and lessons.” International Journal of Conflict Management (International Journal of Conflict Management, v), 2006: 154-174

[4] Peet, R., et al. Unholy trinity. New York: Zed Books, 2003

Bibliography – Chicago Style Citations

Chatterjee, Ipsita. “Applying models of conflict negotiation to the Hindu-Muslim conflict in Ahmedabad, India: Implications and lessons.” International Journal of Conflict Management (International Journal of Conflict Management, v), 2006: 154-174

—. Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies. New Delhi: Sage, 2014.

Cox, K. R. “The local and the global in the new urban politics: a critical view,” Environment and Planning D, Society and Space, 1993: 11 (4): 433 – 448

Leyshon, A., R. Lee, L. McDowell, and P. Sunley. The SAGE handbook of economic geography. Thousand Oaks, Calif: : Sage, 2011

Peet, R., et al. Unholy Trinity. New York: Zed Books, 2003

Relph, E. Place and Placelessness, London: Pion, 1976

 

Issue: