Of Slumdogs, Doxosophers, and the (In)Dignity of Labour(ers)

14 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2020

Date Written: September 30, 2009


This paper seeks to critique the majority opinion among Indian and Indian origin intellectuals who largely criticized the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' for what was seen as a stereotypical portrayal of poverty and slums. Instead I seek to read the film in a different way based on research on urban aspirations and mobility in Mumbai.The paper adopts a more Ambedkarite perspective in understanding issues of labour, poverty, and social change in urban India within a larger context of global flows. The paper uses the Ambedkarite perspective in critiquing conventional academically oriented marxist, liberal, and post-modernist critiques of Slumdog Millionaire. In the process it attempts to generate a more nuanced view of the role of market forces and India's new service economy in transforming the caste and status determined opportunity structure in urban India.

Keywords: India, slumdog millionaire, urban, aspirations, poverty

JEL Classification: A14, B14, D11, I30, J24

Suggested Citation

Parthasarathy, D., Of Slumdogs, Doxosophers, and the (In)Dignity of Labour(ers) (September 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2096954 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2096954

D. Parthasarathy (Contact Author)

IIT Bombay ( email )

IIT Bombay, Powai
Mumbai, ND Maharashtra 400076
02225767372 (Phone)

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