Rethinking Urbanization: A Gender Analysis

Home/ Rethinking Urbanization: A Gender Analysis
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSGA1EL4094

Semester and Year Offered: Monsoon semester, 2nd Year

Course Coordinator and Team: Teena Anil

Email of course coordinator: teena[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: None

: The aim of this course is to situate how gender relations vitally shape cities and urban life and how gender as a constitutive aspect of social relations that vitally shaped by cities and urban life. Drawing from classical and contemporary readings and themes in urban sociology the course aims to critically re-examine them in dialogue with gendered approaches to sociology, geography, city planning. Key topics we will address include: urban modernity, everyday experiences of urban life, construction of space, informal urbanism, right to the city and urbanism a way of life.

Course Outcomes:

  1. To familiarize how gendered relations shapes urban life and vis-à-vis.
  2. Learn to critically examines the classical and contemporary reading on urban issues from gender perspectives
  3. Enable to develop a gender perspective to understand and analyse complex urban process critically.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Unit-1 Situating Experience(s) of Urban Modernity: The main focus of this unit is to draws the gendered map of urban modernity. It highlights shaping of different subjective identities (Gendered Identities) and their changing relationship with the social and physical spaces of the city.
  2. Unit-2 Representation of Space: The unit aims to discover how the construction of gender identities occur not in isolation but rather interactively and through opposition. Critically addressing a priori categorisation of spaces as ‘public’ and ‘private’ This unit intensifies the debate by exploring the ways in which these categories are socially and culturally defined, prevented, hindered an understanding of the representation of space in everyday life especially in relation to social relationships, hierarchies and power.
  3. Unit-3 Unpacking Right to the City: The right to the city is a collective right for all people however; it entails not only the right to use what already exists in urban spaces, but right to participate in its creation or re-creation. By essentialsing the gender debate the unit aims move beyond the rigid categorizations of gender and analyse how it fail to include the intersexes and transgendered populations, a small and highly marginalized segment of the wider population, and their reflections of comfort, belonging and commitment to the city they live in.
  4. Unit-4 Gendering Urban Informality: The unit aims to reflect beyond the two contrasting and domination debate of urban informality, with reference to urban economies and urban planning. It introduce the concept of urban informality as the mode of urbanization, into the political and cultural fields, to reflect on gendered process of informality in terms of their struggles over autonomy, self-expression and resistance while creating, and making use of informal economic activities and culture.
  5. Unit-5 Urbanism as a Way of Life: With the progression of course, this unit aims to address the contradiction between the claim that urban anonymity can be benefit for marginalised subjectivists (LGBQT) in general and women in particular and their visibility in urban context. It also enable, to see how space is occupied and employed is an indicator of the extent to which the quest for anonymity has been replaced by the desire for legitimate and acceptance of group identity, the production of difference, and idea of belongingness

Assessment Details with weights:

  1. This first assessment will Involves a general participation in the seminar (15%), and two reading presentations over the course of the semester (10 % each) (combined: 35%)
  2. The second assessment will involve a project report related to student research interest of their choice (40%).
  3. The third assessment will consist of a final examination (25%).

Reading List:

  • Jane Jacobs. 1961. “The uses of sidewalks: safety”, pp.29-54 in The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House
  • Parsons, Deborah. 2000. Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City, and Modernity, Oxford University Press, New York.
  • Scott, Joan W. 1986. “Gender: A useful category of historical analysis.” The American Historical Review 91.5: 1053-1075.
  • Srivastav, Sanjay.(2014), Masculinity and Its Role in Gender Based Violence in Public Space in The Fear that Stalk Gender Based violence in Public Space, Edited by Sara Pilot and Lora Prabhu, Published by University of Chicago Press Chicago.
  • Doan, Petra. 2007. “Queers in the American City: Transgendered perceptions of urban space.” Gender, Place & Culture 14.1: 57-74.
  • Ranade, Shilpa (2007). “The Way She Moves: Mapping the Everyday Production of Gender Space’, Review of Women’s Studies, EPW, Vol.42, no.17, 1519-1526.
  • Jagori (2007) ‘Is this my city? Women’s Safety in Public Spaces in Delhi’. Jagori. New Delhi.
  • Atluri, Tara. 2016. ‘Bus/Bas/ बस: The 2012 Delhi Gange Rape Case, City Space and Public Transportation in R. Negi and S. Chakarvarty (eds), Space, Planning and Everyday Contestation in Delhi: Delhi: Springer.
  • Ananya. 2003. City requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty. University of Minnesota Press, 2003. [Chapters 1-3]
  • Chant, Sylvia and Cathy McIlvaine. 2016. Cities, Slums, and Gender in the Global South: Toward a Feminized Urban Future. New York: Routledge.
  • Dona, P. L., & Higgins, H. (2011). The demise of queer space? Resurgent gentrification and the assimilation of LGBT neighborhoods, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 31, 6-25.
  • Garber. Judith. A (2000). “Not Named or identified”: Politics and the search for Anonymity in the city’ in Kristine B Miranna and Alam H. Young (Ed), Gendering the City: Women Boundaries and Vision of Urban Life. Rawman & Littlefield Lanhan, pg. 19-40
  • Phadke, Shilpa, Shilpa Ranade and Sameera Khan (2009), Why Loiter? Radical Possibilities for Gendered Dissent’, in Melissa Butcher and Selvaraj Velayuthum (eds), ‘Dissent and Cultural Resistance in Asia Cities, Routledge London.
  • Rubin, Gayle. 2002. “Studying sexual subcultures: Excavating the ethnography of gay communities in urban North America.” Out in theory: The emergence of lesbian and gay anthropology (2002): 17-68.


  • Khan Sameera (2007): ‘Negotiating the Mohalla: Exclusion, Identity and Muslim Women in Mumbai’, Review of Women’s Studies, EPW, vol.42, no.17, pg. 1527-1533
  • Desai, R., McFarlane, C., and Graham, S. (2014) The Politics of Open Defecation: Informality, body, and infrastructure in Mumbai: Antipode, 47(1), 98-120.
  • Sweet, E.L. (2016) Gender, Violence, and the City of Emotion, In Y. Beebeejaun (Ed.), The Participatory City (pp-120-127), Berlin, Germany: Jovis.
  • Iris Marion Young. 1990. “City Life and Difference,” in Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton University Press.
  • Sharma, S. 2016. ‘Housing Spatial Mobility and Paid Domestic Work in Millennial Delhi Narratives of Women Domestic Workers’ in R. Negi and S. Chakarvarty (eds), Space, Planning and Everyday Contestation in Delhi: Springer: Delhi.
  • S. 2000, ‘Migrant Women and Urban Experience in a Squatter Settlement’, in V. Dupont , E. Tarlo and D. Vidal (eds), Delhi: Urban Space and Human Destinies. Delhi: Manohar Publishers, New Delhi.
  • Petra L. Doan (2010) The tyranny of gendered spaces – reflections from beyond the gender dichotomy, Gender, Place & Culture, 17:5, 635 654, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2010.503121