Accepted paper:

'Home is were you get the most': Neoliberalism, Middle-class diasporas and NRI home-making in Kolkata, India

Authors:

Henrike Donner (Goldsmiths)

Paper short abstract:

The paper will trace home-making and kin relations amongst Non-Resident Indians, who invested in flats in Kolkata, India. It will trace such transnational domesticities amongst Indo-German migrants.

Paper long abstract:

'Home is were you get the most': Neoliberalism, Middle-class diasporas and NRI home-making in Kolkata, India The paper will provide an insight into a specific pattern of home-making, namely second homes created in India by Indo-German couples. Recent decades have seen urban restructuring on an unprecedented scale, with new housing catering specifically to the much coveted NRI (non-resident Indian) investors. In Kolkata as elsewhere, a sizeable number such 'investors' have bought flats, many senior citizens who have spent the their working lives in the US and EU countries, and who purchased second homes here in order to spend the winter months. A sizeable minority are from Germany, with German partners invested in this new home-building project that involves close ties with a partner's natal, often extended family and native city. The paper will trace the commonalities between these modes of home and family remaking, particular ways of making second homes as a class-based project that affects the city more generally, ideas about coupledom, family and belonging, all framed by the way such transnational middle-class lifestyles are implied in specific regimes of care, class-based consumption and kinship patterns and and a deliberate embrace of neoliberal ideology.

panel P155
Houses and domestic space in the diaspora: materiality, senses and temporalities in migrants' dwellings