This book examines urban experience from the vantage point of the global South. Drawing upon narratives coming from three key axes—communities, neighbourhoods, and market places—it lays bare the specificities of urban experience in contemporary Surat. It discusses a host of issues, including the ambiguity of urban experience, its uncomfortable ties with frames of the capital, and the politics of urban belonging that operate at multiple levels, shaping the contours of urban society. Musing on the subjectivities pertaining to the social and the spatial in a milieu of a fast-transforming urban landscape of Surat, Gujarat, the book is an exploration of how people perceive and associate with their surroundings, how they aspire, how they stigmatise others, the relation between the city and its migrants and castes, and at a broader level, between the capital and the city.

An important contribution to the study of cities, the volume sheds light on how urban experience can be approached as a socially and spatially embedded concept. It will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of social history, urban sociology, urban studies, global South, and South Asia.

chapter |22 pages


chapter Chapter 1|13 pages


An Overview

chapter Chapter 2|39 pages

Caste in the Contemporary City

chapter Chapter 3|22 pages

Dalit Desires and the City

chapter Chapter 4|17 pages

A City of Migrants

chapter Chapter 6|46 pages

Dwelling in the Marketplace

chapter |12 pages