Reconfiguring Identities and Building Territories in India and South Africa

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Philippe Gervais-Lambony, Frédéric Landy, Sophie Oldfield
Manohar Publishers & Distributors, Jan 1, 2005 - Group Identity - 346 pages
Published in association with Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi Questions of territory, space and identity are critically important in the international geopolitical context as well as central to contemporary research in the social sciences. Processes connected with globalization have reconfigured identities and territories at multiple scales, connecting and disconnecting places in complex ways and re-enforcing old while producing new forms of segregation and polarisation. Global processes meet the complex and locally specific South African and Indian geographies of inequality, expressed at national, regional and local scale. In the South African case, a political imperative to transform the legacies of racial inequality from colonial and apartheid rule underscores the centrality of racial identities. However, racial discourse and differentiation embodies and at times masks a complex mix of place-based, gender, class and cultural identities, expressed in a multi-scalar politics of territory. Over 50 years into independent rule, Indian identity politics continues to build to a large extent on caste and the intricate ways in which caste-affiliation merges with religious, socio-economic, political and place-based identities. In both contexts, the politics of identity and territory simultaneously unify and divide. The spaces, territories and identities (re)produced in the complex contexts in which the global, national, regional and local meet lie at the heart of the research from which the papers in this book have been generated. The research investigated the reconfiguration of Indian and South African identities and territories through dialogue primarily between geographers, but also other social scientists, from India, South Africa and France.

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About the author (2005)

Philippe Gervais-Lambony is Professor of Geography at the Univesity of Paris X, Director of GECKO (research centre of comparative geography). His most recent book is Territoires citadins, 4 villes africaines (Paris: Belin, 2003).

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