City of Men: Masculinities and Everyday Morality on Public Transport (Hardcover)

City of Men: Masculinities and Everyday Morality on Public Transport By Romit Chowdhury Cover Image

City of Men: Masculinities and Everyday Morality on Public Transport (Hardcover)


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In South Asian urban landscapes, men are everywhere. And yet we do not seem to know very much about precisely what men do in the city as men. How do men experience gender in city spaces? What are the interactional dynamics between different groups of men on city streets? How do men adjudicate between good and bad conduct in urban spaces? Through ethnographic descriptions of copresence on public transport in Kolkata, India, this book brings into sight the gendered logics of cooperation and everyday morality through which masculinities take up space in cities. It follows the labor geographies of auto-rickshaw and taxi operators and their interactions with traffic police and commuters to argue that the gendered fabric of urban life needs to be understood as a product of situational forms of cooperation between different social groups. Such an orientation sheds light on the part played by everyday morality and provisional support in upholding male privilege in the city.
Romit Chowdhury is a senior lecturer in sociology at Erasmus University College in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He is the coeditor with Z.A. Baset of Men and Feminism in India.
Product Details ISBN: 9781978829510
ISBN-10: 1978829515
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: August 11th, 2023
Pages: 216
Language: English

City Of Men offers a dazzling view of the social life of public transport in Kolkata. Combining conceptual flair with ethnographic luminosity, Chowdhury plunges us headlong into the city’s streets to explain how masculine subjectivities are made and unmade through the warp and weft of everyday encounters.”

— David Bissell

"Romit Chowdhury's City of Men examines the ways men occupy public space in Kolkata in this important new study. Chowdhury analyzes the relationship between masculinity, heterosexuality, and mobility in Kolkata with rich accounts, painting a picture of the gendered nature of trust and mobility in public space in visceral detail."
— Tristan Bridges

"Given the extent to which it is men that steer circulations through dense urban fabrics, how little we understand about what is on their minds, nor how their practices gender the city. Chowdhury brilliantly explores how male transport workers curate specific atmospheres of movement, responding to changing urban conditions and creating an often confounding politics of navigation."
— AbdouMaliq Simone