Researching World Class Watering In Metropolitan Calcutta

  • Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt Australian National University


Enormous social and economic inequalities notwithstanding, a colossal and ever-expanding middle-class has come to symbolise a new India. Because of the economic and social fluidity of this class, its members are prisoners of social and economic aspiration, negotiating and manoeuvring imagined and actual worlds, tradition and modernity. This middle-class is reinventing individual and household consumption by accessing hitherto out-of-reach resources and technologies. Water as an everyday resource has not escaped this whirlwind of change; a substantial volume of water is caught within the interstices of urban homes, where western-influenced, water-intensive forms of living are becoming the norm. New water consumption technologies now adorn most middle-class homes, indicating residents’ changing values and practices regarding water. As these practices change existing meanings of water and redefine what is meant by pure and clean water fit for drinking, the new technologies required to purify water fundamentally recast their users as a new type of water consumer: the use of new technologies of water purification thereby represents new ways of being, recreating in the process middle-class subjectivity.

How to Cite
Lahiri-Dutt, K. (2015). Researching World Class Watering In Metropolitan Calcutta. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(3), 700-720. Retrieved from