[CSH Workshop – ONLINE] 28 March 2022 Bangles and Christmas balls, from Firozabad to the globalized glass networks (A. Kaba)
(Postdoc Fellow at the Centre of Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen)
Bangles and Christmas balls, from Firozabad to the globalized glass networks
Discussant: Shankar Ramaswamy, Professor, and Executive Director, Centre for Justice Studies, Jindal Global Law School. Dr. Ramaswamy is currently completing a book entitled, Souls in the Kalyug: The Politics and Cosmologies of Migrant Workers in Delhi.
The session will be online via Zoom on 28 March 2022, 05:00 pm onwards:
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Abstract: This presentation discusses the link between Firozabad’s inhabitants and the glassworks. It starts from the Sheeshgarh caste – a caste specialized in bangles making since the pre-industrial times – and analyzes the spreading of their skills, the diversification of Firozabad’s workforce, the occupational evolutions strengthening of its artisans’ population. He argues that the communities of practices – the social groups bound by sharing the same activities and skills- deeply structure the city’s identities and its workers’ agencies. Going beyond the paper’s conclusions, he proposes the hypothesis that the locality is becoming more determining than the caste regarding the boundaries of communities of practice, even if the locality’s daily life (mohalla) is itself embedded in caste relations. Lastly, he observes how globalization interplayed with these changes and how a value chain like the Christmas balls’ making reveals the embeddedness of Firozabad’s working lives in global production networks.
Arnaud Kaba is a Fritz-Thyssen Fellow at the Centre of Modern Indian Studies, Göttingen. He specializes in the anthropology of skills, work, and globalization with a strong study base in India. His current research project follows the sector of the Christmas Balls in India and France to understand how globalization transforms the manual worker’s social relations and collective representations.
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