Introduction to crowds and conviviality: Ethnographies of the South Asian City

Ajay Gandhi, Lotte Hoek

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


In this introduction to the special issue of Ethnography, we argue that the South Asian city is not an inert backdrop to the lives of its various inhabitants. Living cities change and morph, their instability and transformation demanding a concomitant openness to change from its inhabitants. The open-endedness of the living city in South Asia requires an open and exploratory ethnographic approach unburdened by inflexible terminology, formats or concepts. We call for creative forms of writing to do justice to both such an ethnographic practice and to the city itself.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • South Asian city
  • openness to change
  • living cities
  • ethnographic writing


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