This book, based on extensive, original research, details the changing lives of youth living in slum communities (bustees) in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Using young people’s own photos, art and narratives, the book explores how Muslim girls and young women are contributing to, and impacted by, changing youth culture in India. We are invited into the risky world of mixed-sex dance taking place in clandestine spaces in the slums. We join young people on their journeys to find premarital romance and witness their strategic and savvy risk taking when participating in transgressive aspects of consumer culture. The book reveals how social changes in India, including greater education and employment opportunities, as well as powerful middle class Muslim reform discourses, are impacting youth the very local level. More than just fantasy we see that Bollywood is an important role model which young people consult. By carefully negotiating risks and performing multiple identities inspired by modernity, globalization and, most of all, Bollywood culture, young people actively participate in a changing India and disrupt dominant discourses about slum youth as poor victims who are excluded from social change.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Chapter 2. The Good Muslim Girl 3. Bollywood Dancing in the Bustees 4. Love, Desire and Disappointment 5. Changing Youth Culture, Changing Consumption Culture 6. Conclusion
Kabita Chakraborty is an Assistant Professor in the Children's Studies Program, Department of Humanities, York University, Canada.