chapter  9
13 Pages

The Age of the ‘Lascar’

South Asian seafarers in the times of imperial steam shipping
WithRavi Ahuja

Oceanic shipping relies on the availability of a spatially mobile maritime workforce to generate conditions for extended circuits and accelerated rhythms of mobility and exchange. This dynamic interdependency has been articulated differentially in changing historical contexts resulting in distinct institutional and socio-spatial arrangements. Steam shipping, in the age of imperialism, thus generated altogether new patterns of circulation, though not from its first appearance and without displacing older patterns altogether.