Jugaad Time

9781478001102: Hardback
Release Date: 1st February 2019

9781478001461: Paperback
Release Date: 21st February 2019

9 illustrations

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 232

Series ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise

Duke University Press Books

Jugaad Time

Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India

Amit S. Rai shows how urban South Asians employ low-cost technological workarounds and hacks known as jugaad to solve problems, navigate, and resist India's neoliberal ecologies.
Hardback / £84.00
Paperback / £21.99

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.

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

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.

"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