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Jakarta, Drawing the City Near$
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AbdouMaliq Simone

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816693351

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816693351.001.0001

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The Urban Majority

The Urban Majority

Improvised Livelihoods in Mixed-up Districts

(p.83) 2 The Urban Majority
Jakarta, Drawing the City Near

AbdouMaliq Simone

University of Minnesota Press

Considers districts where people of different backgrounds operate in close proximity to each other, and where the proximity means different thing—sometimes closeness, sometimes distance, collaboration, or separation. But the oscillation is important. There is not underlying commonality, Things do not fit easily. But the sheer diversity of ways of doing things provide a basis for collaboration, constitute a “working majority”, and offer individuals the concrete potential to alter their course of action. Residents always had to initiate some kind of activity to create or supplement incomes. Since most knew that their initiatives would operate in a crowded field of others, they had to adjust and come-up with project that incorporated the ideas, income, and labor of others. Viable, if sometimes only limited, livelihoods derived from a multiplicity of incremental maneuvers undertaken to build upon and extend whatever a household had access to. These maneuvers often relied upon positioning whatever assets the family had within new “neighborhoods” of association.

Keywords:   Global South urbanism, urban politics, relational economy, sustainable development, city life, megacity, technicity, Jakarta, people as infrastructure

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