Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India
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.
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.
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