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Mapping the ElitePower, Privilege, and Inequality$
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Surinder S. Jodhka and Jules Naudet

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199491070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199491070.001.0001

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Artefacts and Artifices of the Global

Artefacts and Artifices of the Global

Practices of US Architects in India’s National Capital Region

(p.139) 4 Artefacts and Artifices of the Global*
Mapping the Elite

Namita Vijay Dharia

Oxford University Press

The real estate crash in the Global North in 2008, accompanied by the growth of a comparatively stable real estate market in India, saw a number of architects and allied companies from the Global North enter India’s National Capital Region (NCR). Indian state actors and developers, as well as corporations from the Global North, propagated a discourse of the global in order to generate economic and cultural capital for their work. The discourse operated through and embedded into the built environment and material landscapes of NCR. This paper argues that elite cultures in India need to be understood as an entanglement of local governing and corporate elite with foreign elite actors. It further argues that material environments act as sites through which both local and international groups contest, claim, and reframe the elite identities in India, intimately tying together the global and the elite. Material worlds are integral to understanding the dynamics of elite interactions in the Global North and Global South as they cross language barriers, disseminate knowledge sensorially, and constitute the foci of multinational capitalist intervention in developing countries. This paper is part of a cross-class ethnography of the building construction industry in NCR.

Keywords:   urbanism, South Asia, architecture, political economy, materiality, elite identity, globalization

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