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Fear and the City

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Negotiating Everyday Life as a Young Baloch Man in Karachi

image of Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient

This article explores the impacts of continuing conflict on the everyday lives of people living in Lyari, one of the oldest areas of Karachi. It focuses on fear and insecurity as emotional practices that structure the spatial and social relations in the city. Using the narratives of young Baloch men who must negotiate the threat of violence at the hands of criminal gangs and state security forces within their area and rival political parties outside the area, the article highlights how fear and insecurity must be understood as being contextually situated, depending on one’s social and geographical position within the city. The experiences of these young men demonstrate how emotions such as fear and insecurity are both produced by and reproduce spatial configurations of power.

Affiliations: 1: Lahore University of Management Sciences


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