Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: New contradictions : the activism of middle-class youth in Delhi
Author: Ortiz, Gregory
ISNI:       0000 0004 6494 0317
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis examines forms of activism among middle-class youth in the context of neoliberal urban change in Delhi. The research is set within four interdisciplinary bodies of literature reflecting the experiences of young activists: middle-class identity, everyday politics and new modalities of social action, intersectionality, and active citizenship. What emerges from each of these bodies is a view to the contradictory politics of the young middle-class. Focusing on new forms of social action at the community level, this thesis uses an expansive definition of both activism and middle-class to encompass a range of activities from social enterprise, to technology-enabled mobilization around social issues, to political campaigning among India’s expanding middle-class. The research is framed within young peoples' period of waiting: for full adulthood, marriage, and importantly, full-time employment. Grounded in qualitative fieldwork, this thesis concentrates on young people, aged 18 to 30, in the middle-class with putatively distinct activist practices. Young people in Delhi are engaged in various activities that loosely correspond to different ideals of social justice or social work. I illustrate the innate differences in these ideals, their motivations, and methods. I analyze the limitations of different activist projects and the extent to which the social action is constructive—in the sense of enhancing the capabilities of marginalized sections of society and promoting inclusivity. The young people at the core of this project contend to be anti-politics, yet they are quite political. Additionally, the interlocutors show contempt for the state and the commercial interests of the market but deploy and rely on strategies from both. My examination gives prominence to the improvised nature of young people's lives and the decisions they make at key life stages. Activation of the self, and actualization for the researched youth, manifests in entrepreneurial activity, community work short of politics, and the negotiation of class, caste, and gender on an everyday basis. This thesis argues for more scholarly attention to the everyday lives of middle-class youth that can offer insights into this key demographic and connect individual decisions to broader social and political change.
Supervisor: Jeffrey, Craig Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political geography ; Human geography ; middle class ; Youth activism ; Delhi