Book Review: Supriya Singh, Yaso Nadarajah, Martin Mulligan and Chris Chamberlain (Eds). 2015. Searching for Community: Melbourne to Delhi

AuthorVikash Kumar
Published date01 April 2017
Date01 April 2017
Subject MatterBook Reviews
Book Reviews
Supriya Singh, Yaso Nadarajah, Martin Mulligan and Chris Chamberlain
(Eds). 2015. Searching for Community: Melbourne to Delhi. New Delhi:
Manohar. 251 pp. ISBN: 978-93-5098-095-8
The interconnection between city and community has attracted scholarly attention
at different stages of history of urbanization. The book under review is one of its
latest examples. The two stages of industrial revolution witnessed mass domestic
or international migrations of people to the emerging urban centres. Globalization
and liberalization were among the biggest guiding forces leading to ever increasing
urban population. Rapid industrialization and subsequent demand for skilled and
semi-skilled labour hastened the growth of urban population making urban ecology
very complex and multilayered. This led several scholars and commentators to
suggest that the very idea of community would now become redundant, to start
with in industrialized Western societies and eventually in all parts of the world.
However, when globalization caused the unfettered flow of people, money, goods,
information and ideas, the desire for community formation showed its resilience by
shedding out its conventional social moorings and adaptation of new forms such as
the network society. The restructuring of the Asian economies in the 1990s left its
significant mark on urban landscape in the continent and beyond.
Searching for Community explores the importance of studying community
from the perspectives of lived urban experiences instead of traditional study of
urbanization, which draws more abstractly from demography, urban planning,
infrastructure and development, transportation and affordable housing. The book
consists of 10 essays, each trying to understand the prospects of inclusivity and
sustainability of different cities given their unprecedented global growth especially
in Asia-Pacific region. The volume attempts to address issues of adaptability of
cities to meet new global challenges such as ‘war on terror’ that creates a new
fear of strangers and ‘others’, role of community in addressing emerging issues
of ecological sustainability and social justice. The volume also raises the issues
of rising rates of crime, social tension and new forms of marginalization which
threaten the sense of community within globalizing cosmopolitan cities of the
Asia-Pacific region.
These communities assert themselves as a source of identity, but they may or
may not be influential in affecting larger economic or political power structure of
the city. An example provided in the chapter by Yaso Nadarajah shows that the
Journal of Asian Security
and International Affairs
4(1) 138–148
2017 SAGE Publications India
Private Limited
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/2347797016689392

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