Jugaad Time

Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India

Jugaad Time

ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise

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Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 9 illustrations Published: February 2019

Author: Amit S. Rai

Asian Studies > South Asia, Cultural Studies > Affect Theory, Media Studies > Digital Media

In India, the practice of jugaad—finding workarounds or hacks to solve problems—emerged out of subaltern strategies of negotiating poverty, discrimination, and violence but is now celebrated in management literature as a disruptive innovation. In Jugaad Time Amit S. Rai explores how jugaad operates within contemporary Indian digital media cultures through the use of the mobile phone. Rai shows that despite being co-opted by capitalism to extract free creative labor from the workforce, jugaad is simultaneously a practice of everyday resistance, as workers and communities employ hacks to oppose corporate, caste, and gender power. Locating the tensions surrounding jugaad—as both premodern and postdigital, innovative and oppressive—Rai maps how jugaad can be used to undermine neoliberal capitalist media ecologies and nationalist politics.


"Jugaad Time will be of great interest to an array of scholars of South Asia who are committed to ethnographically and historically examining assemblages of affect, media technologies, and temporality. The book offers a novel and important opportunity for these scholars to examine how the Global South is implicated in and by innovation studies." — Anisha Chadha, Visual Anthropology Review

"This original and innovative work will enable a new and perhaps paradigm-shattering interpretation of the coimplication of digital assemblages, temporality, and affect. Drawing on a rich ethnographic archive, Amit S. Rai is deeply sensitive to how gender, class, and caste are implicated in emergent techno-perceptual assemblages. His invaluable book is also an effective antidote to the Eurocentricity of digital media studies." — Purnima Mankekar, author of Unsettling India: Affect, Temporality, Transnationality

"Jugaad Time is an important intervention into cartographies of postdigital media cultures. By drawing on the specificity of South Asian cultures, it enriches our understanding of the heterogeneity of these processes. The postcolonial study of media technologies is a vibrant and crucial field of inquiry; Amit S. Rai's outstanding work is an essential contribution to global approaches to new media scholarship." — Tiziana Terranova, author of Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Amit S. Rai is Senior Lecturer in New Media and Communication at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Untimely Bollywood: Globalization and India's New Media Assemblage, also published by Duke University Press, and the coeditor of InterMedia in South Asia: The Fourth Screen.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface  ix
Acknowledgments  xix
Introduction. A Political Ecology of Jugaad  1
Fables of the Reinvention I. Toward a Universal History of Hacking  39
1. The Affect of Jugaad: "Frugal Innovation" and the Workaround Ecologies of Postcolonial Practice  45
2. Neoliberal Assemblages of Perception and Digital Media in India  68
Fables of the Reinvention II. New Desiring Machines  102
3. Jugaad Ecologies of Social Reproduction  106
4. Diagramming Affect: Smart Cities and Plasticity in India's Informal Economy  128
Fables of the Reinvention III. A Series of Minor Events  150
Conclusion. Jugaad Jugaading: Time, Language, Misogyny in Hacking Ecologies  153
Notes  167
References  175
Index  203
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0146-1 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0110-2
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