The Globally Familiar: Mediating masculinities in Delhi, India

Conveners: Harvey Whitehouse and Nayanika Mathur

Speaker: Ethiraj Gabriel Dattatreyan (Goldsmiths London)

ISCA Seminar Series Michaelmas 2020



In the last decade access to information and communication technologies – 3G and 4G networks, smart phones, and social media platforms – have created opportunities for young people on the margins of the national imaginary in India to take part in transnational media worlds. In this talk I discuss how the young men from working class, migrant, and minority communities in Delhi who I first met in 2012 take up global hip hop’s now digitally mobile aesthetic discourse to fashion themselves in online and offline worlds. Using the term the globally familiar as an analytic to engage with the recursive effects of media consumption, production and circulation; I argue for an attention to the ways in which the diverse young men I got to know in Delhi mediate their racialized and classed masculinities through their online and offline hip hop play in ways which productively transform the moral discourse of threat and disconnection linked to their bodies, into social and economic possibilities. These opportunities and the media play that make them possible, I show, are generative of various affects – hope, anxiety, disappointment – that structure their gendered aspirations in and through circuits of late capitalism.