Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India (ANIMA: Critical Race Studies Otherwise)

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In India, the practice of jugaad—finding workarounds or hacks to unravel 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 inside recent Indian digital media cultures through using the cell phone. Rai shows that in spite of being co-opted by capitalism to extract free creative labor from the body of workers, jugaad is concurrently a practice of on a regular basis 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 utilized to undermine neoliberal capitalist media ecologies and nationalist politics.

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