A City of Men? Masculinities and Everyday Gendered Violences in Urban India

In this talk I explore the gendering of everyday urban spaces and the social production of gendered violence. Through ethnographic data collected by ‘hanging out’ with young Indian men in New Delhi, I reveal the ways in which their masculinities are constructed and performed, and how these in turn produce hostility, fear and violence for women and girls accessing the same urban spaces. Through weaving together material from myriad urban sites like gyms, bars, trains, street corners, night clubs, gay cruising parks as well as shopping malls, I explore how there is an attempt to make the city a masculine space, with a hyper-sexualisation of women in the same spaces. However this process is not even or uniform, with several masculine anxieties and vulnerabilities also emerging in men’s claims on the city from queer and non-masculine bodies. In this way, the urban space becomes an interesting palimpsest to explore the politics of gender, class, sexualities and violences on an everyday level.


Dr Shannon Philip is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of East Anglia, UK and a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His first monograph ‘Becoming Young Men in a New India: Masculinities, Gender Relations and Violence in the Postcolony’ has recently been published with Cambridge University Press (2022). Shannon’s new research project comparatively explores youth, sexualities, urban transformations and gender in South Africa and India. He has recently completed one year of ethnographic fieldwork in Johannesburg for this project and is working on his second monograph on decolonial youth cultures of the Global South.

Please note: Following the talk, Dr Shannon will also be open to questions about his book (cover page pasted below)  during the discussion from  4: 30-5:00 p.m.