Policing the "Sensible" in the Era of YouTube: Urban Villages and Racialized Subjects in Delhi

Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel. 2020. Policing the "Sensible" in the Era of YouTube: Urban Villages and Racialized Subjects in Delhi. Television & New Media, 21(4), pp. 407-419. ISSN 1527-4764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This short article argues for an attention to the ways in which prosumer video footage presumed to be destined for online social media circulation polices the sensible and, in turn, is policed because of its capacity to reveal the messy, turbulent politics of the everyday. I focus on one incident I had in an urban village in Delhi, India where I was questioned by a group of young men when I filmed a spontaneous mob scene on the street where the fate of African nationals residing in the village was debated. The young men assumed I was going to upload the footage onto YouTube and argued that I was going to cause harm if I did so. Their interest in policing my somewhat amateur audio-visual representations of the unfolding events in relationship to their potential digital circulation, I suggest, not only opens up the space for us to think through what comprises a politics of the sensible in millennial urban India but to think about the ethical and political conundrums facing ethnographers in their pursuit of the everyday

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digital politics, YouTube, race, migration, ethnography, ethics

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October 2018Submitted
28 June 2019Accepted
21 August 2019Published Online
1 May 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

27 Nov 2018 16:24

Last Modified:

12 Jun 2021 00:28

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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