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Uppsala seminar on time poverty and prosperity for Indian urban middle class

January 23, 2014 - 16:15-17:45

The Department of Linguistics and Philology of Uppsala University is hosting a seminar entitled ”What is Time Poverty and Time Prosperity for Urban Indian Middle Class of Delhi?”. The seminar talk will be delivered by Professor Divyaraj Amiya, a Reader for Hindi at the Dept. of Indology and Comparative Religion at University of Tübingen in Germany.

The seminar will focus on the question what time poverty means in the context of urban Indian middle class of Delhi in 21st century. In the 1950s, one male member with an 8-to-10-hours day job was somehow able to provide for a family of four or five children and extended family members. In 2013, both spouses work 12 hours, which equals a combined 22 to 24 hours each day. Add to that the share contributed by ageing but ‘economically active’ parents i.e. 3-4 working hours, wherever possible. In total, the shrunken domestic units spend 26 to 34 hours working every day at the workplace. They have to work three to four times more at the workplace. Additionally, compared to 1950s or 60s they are far more productive at the workplace. Still, the dominant ideology never tires of telling them how much more hard-working, focussed and motivated they should be.

Basing itself on recent anthropological resarches and classical works of political economy on the notion of time and work, talk and the first version of the film ”Delhi : After 20 Years” will try to raise some fundamental questions about what is accepted as normal daily life in Delhi. The broad consensus around production of well-educated urban middle class as solution to the ills of social and economic crises will be questioned in the documentary report.

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Uppsala seminar on time poverty and prosperity for Indian urban middle class


January 23, 2014