Discoursing on Slums: Representing the Cosmopolitan Subaltern



Slum dwellers are among the most disadvantaged, socially excluded communities in the twenty-first century, living at odds to or outside national and international codes of justice, experiencing diminished or non-existent human rights — whether individual, collective or cultural — inequality and dehumanization in the workplace. New levels of poverty, violence and precarity — the experience of ‘ambient insecurity’ (Horning n.p.) caused by the transfer of state responsibilities for welfare and development to market forces — exist for disenfranchised subjects whose living conditions are produced by and inserted into the production of globalization. As Gayatri Spivak points out:

Economic restructuring … removes the barriers between national and international capital, so that the same system of exchange can be established globally … But now, with state priorities increasingly altered, redistributive justice through constitutionality is less and less easy, if not impossible. Philanthropy is now coming top down from the international civic society — the state is being de facto (and sometimes de jure) unconstitutional because it is asked to be managerial and take free-market imperatives. (52–54)


Television Show Slum Dweller Quiz Question Postcolonial Study Slum Child 
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© Janet Wilson 2015

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