The Making of “World-Class” Delhi: Relations Between Street Hawkers and the New Middle Class
Article first published online: 18 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Author. Antipode © 2013 Antipode Foundation Ltd.
Volume 46, Issue 2, pages 557–573, March 2014
How to Cite
Schindler, S. (2014), The Making of “World-Class” Delhi: Relations Between Street Hawkers and the New Middle Class. Antipode, 46: 557–573. doi: 10.1111/anti.12054
- Issue published online: 11 FEB 2014
- Article first published online: 18 SEP 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 24 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Received: 13 JAN 2013
- new middle class;
- informal service sector;
- urban governance
Urban India is undergoing transformation as formal electoral politics increasingly favors the new middle class. Scholarship tends to compartmentalize the politics of the new middle class and the poor, and this article focuses on inter-class relations. By focusing on relations between street hawkers and the new middle class in Delhi, I show that rather than engaging in zero-sum conflicts over urban space, conflict is typically over the terms of its use. The analysis shows that these classes are interdependent; the poor depend on the new middle class for their livelihoods, and the lifestyles of new middle class are enabled by services provided by the poor. While the poor enable and participate in Delhi's transformation into a so-called “world-class” city, the reconciliation of competing visions of urbanization—one geared toward social reproduction and the other subsistence—is what is at stake in contemporary inter-class relations.