From the taxi drivers’ rear-view mirror: Masculinity, marginality and sexual violence in India’s capital city, Delhi

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Abstract

The Delhi Gang Rape and other public sexual violence cases have led Delhi to acquire the dubious distinction of being called India’s ‘rape capital’. This has been accompanied by an outcry for guaranteeing ‘women’s safety’ in the city. The growing incidence of violence against women in urban India, more generally, is said to point to a crisis of masculinity, where the confidence shown by women entering higher education, the workplace and the public arena seems to trigger insecurity among men who are used to being in charge. Political leaders and the media have repeatedly portrayed low-income male migrants as being responsible for such violence. How do working-class migrant men construct their own masculinity, and perceive of women’s access to public spaces? To answer this question, this article explores the narratives of twelve working-class migrant men, all of whom are associated with a kin-based taxi stand in affluent South Delhi. The narratives are based on interviews, group discussions and participant observation conducted primarily in 2013.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-85
Number of pages17
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Volume27
Issue number1
Early online date19 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Delhi
  • marginality
  • masculinities
  • migrants
  • spaces
  • violence

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