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Living with others: Subjectivity, Relatedness and Health among Urban Poor in Delhi

Research output: ResearchPh.D. thesis

Emilija Zabiliute

‘Living with Others’ is an ethnographic study of everyday lives and health-seeking practices among urban poor living in a settlement in the margins of Delhi, India.By exploring subjectivities, lived experiences of poverty, and relations through a prism ofhealth, the inquiry aims to move beyond the explorations of precarity embedded in political economies and urban governance that dominate discussions on urban poor neighbourhoods in India.Empirically, the study draws on long-term ethnographic fieldwork and interviews among urban poor,mostly women;and formal and informal health practitioners, abundant in the area. Among these are governmental interventions,run under a maternal health developmental programme, National Rural Health Mission.The study argues that the vulnerabilities characterisingthe lives of the urban poor unfold and are negotiated through relations with kin, neighbours, and political patrons. Drawing on Levinas’ philosophy, which holds that subjects are relational and vulnerable to each other, and on the anthropology of relatedness and kinship, the study shows how ‘living with others’ entails both dependencies and care.In this light, health-seeking practices among the urban poor areorganizedby community belonging and relatedness among neighbours and families.Concurrently, the study showshowthe knowledge of relatedness informsgovernmental health interventionswhichproblematizefamilial relations through evaluations of care in the families amidst poverty; and which functioned to sustain familial normality by acknowledging women’s vulnerabilities and dependencies on their kin.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherKøbenhavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet
Number of pages263
StatePublished - 2016

ID: 163936310