Slums and Shanty Towns
Associate Professor Atreyee Sen has contributed to The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology with the article 'Slums and Shanty Towns.'
The article offers an overview of conceptual complexities surrounding anthropological understandings of slums and shanty towns. It traces the historical role of slums in urban anthropology and highlights the definitional and methodological challenges that underlie ethnographic studies of urban poverty. Within contemporary urban anthropology, the terms “slum” and “shanty town” offer fresh analytical frameworks for representing cities of the global South. A slum provides a vibrant site for stimulating debates on narrativizing and politicizing experiences of poverty and discrimination. New slum ethnographies highlight how complex victimologies sustained within the spatial discourses of slum life intertwine with experiences of the urban poor across regional boundaries.
Atreyee Sen, Slums and Shanty Towns, The International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology, September 2018.