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Decolonizing PsychologyGlobalization, Social Justice, and Indian Youth Identities$
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Sunil Bhatia

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199964727.001.0001

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Identities Left Behind

Identities Left Behind

Globalization, Social Inequality, and the Search for Dignity

(p.165) Chapter 7 Identities Left Behind
Decolonizing Psychology

Sunil Bhatia

Oxford University Press

In this chapter, stories of young men and women who live in basti (slum settlements) near one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Pune, India, are analyzed. It is argued that the basti youth’s “capacity to aspire” is not just an individual trait or a psychological ability. Rather, their aspirations are shaped by their caste identities, structural conditions of poverty, their narrative capacity, their schooling in vernacular language, and the prestige accorded to speakers of English language in urban India. The stories of the basti youth are characterized as dispossessed because they are shaped by and connected to the possessions of the dominant class who live nearby and the unequal structural conditions of their basti. These stories reveal that globalization, by and large, has exacerbated the structural inequality in the slum settlements in Pune. Structural inequality refers to a system that creates and perpetuates an unequal distribution of material and psychological privileges .

Keywords:   sanitation, toilets, dignity, English language, basti, aspirations, working class, caste

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