Jananie Kalyanaraman

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Los Angeles, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9339

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Kalyanaraman, Jananie, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Traffic: Investigating Infrastructure and Social Inequality through Spatial Mobility,' supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta

JANANIE KALYANARAMAN, then a graduate student at University of California, Los Angeles, California, was awarded funding in October 206 to aid research on “Traffic: Investigating Infrastructure and Social Inequality through Spatial Mobility,” supervised by Dr. Akhil Gupta. As cities in India rapidly expand, large amounts of state and corporate funds are being channelled into transportation. In Bengaluru city, the “IT capital” of India, transport and access are closely linked to caste, class and gender identities. Factors that influence people’s access to public transport include: the processes and spatial ideologies involved in planning bus and metro routes, and housing location, which is closely linked to caste and class identities. Based on where they live and work, people are differentially constrained with respect to access to parastatal transport systems (bus and metro). Through ethnographic research on urban mobility across two neighbourhoods in Bengaluru, this study argues that access is central to understanding the relations between caste, gender, class, and the city. Following anthropological critiques of mainstream development models, this study examines the ways people access, use and make meaning of transport to assert that transport is entangled in people’s visions of the future in complex ways. Furthermore, this study argues that while parastatal transport systems attempt to implement the state’s developmental vision, more attention needs to be paid to locally emergent transport systems that are closely related to the politics of placemaking in the city.