body cultures; anthropology of the senses; anthropology of the future; urbanization in South Asia; emerging middle classes; information technology workers; anthropology of everyday life; Hyderabad, India
India is a rising economic power. A key area of its growth, and the focus of a new kind of urbanization, is the peripheries of its major cities. Bypassing older city centers, they are new kinds of spaces, intended for a new kind of people. Hyderabad is at the forefront of this trend because of government incentives that have encouraged the growth of a substantial infotech industry. Over 100,000 infotech employees now work in Hyderabad, comprising a substantial new group. My project examines this population in Hyderabad’s urbanizing periphery and asks: In what ways do infotech workers constitute themselves as a new social group through their day-to-day activities? In what ways do the new spaces where they operate help shape the development of this new group? I trace the day-to-day lives of a group of infotech workers, concentrating on their physical and attitudinal relationships to the new spaces in which they operate. Fundamentally, this project explores the relationship between space and new social formations, treating our bodies as a key nexus between the two. In doing so, I add another, bodily, dimension to the study of the urbanization and social transformation.