The Place of Sexuality and the Sexuality of Place: A Dissident Social Geography of Bangalore, India
Sorrell, Scott Allen
The South Indian city of Bangalore has experienced a period of exponential growth and social chance since the India first underwent economic liberalization in the 1990s. Today Bangalore is a thriving metropolis of more than 10 million people, popularly known as “The Silicon Valley of India.” This dissertation approaches the study of Bangalore’s urban condition, not from the popular perspective of its thriving middle class or its high tech industry, but by examining how its prolonged period of growth has shaped the lives of the city’s LGBTQ residents. Expanding on anthropological scholarship about local instantiations of globally circulating sexual identity categories, as well as engaging with ongoing debates in queer theory, this dissertation theorizes sexual dissidence as the category around which people organize non-heterosexual sexualities and non-binary genders, and in turn organize their city. Drawing on 20 months of fieldwork, the ethnographic material focuses on different urban sites where sexually dissident people make and sustain communities organized around sexual difference. As a social geography, the dissertation asks how people make their lives meaningful, and it pays close attention to where and how they do so. As a result, it develops the concept of urban articulation to describe how urban geographies are made socially meaningful and materially distinct through sex, intimacy, and politics.
South Asian studies; Urban; Geography; Social Geography; ethnography; Cultural anthropology; Queer; Sexuality; India
Ramberg, Lucinda E.G.
Langwick, Stacy A.; Munasinghe, Viranjini P.
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis