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Journal Article

The urban majority and provisional recompositions in Yangon. The 2016 Antipode RGS‐IBG lecture


Simone,  AbdouMaliq
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

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Simone, A. (2018). The urban majority and provisional recompositions in Yangon. The 2016 Antipode RGS‐IBG lecture. Antipode, 50(1), 23-40. doi:10.1111/anti.12344.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-F090-7
Yangon is a city where the now predominant modalities of urban transformation arrived late, and after a prolonged period of political repression. As the urban system has been “set loose” to articulate itself to a broader range of inputs and dispositions, many residents attempt to remake long‐honed yet fragile mechanisms of social interchange in provisional forms. This ethos and practice of provisionality emphasizes ensemble work aimed at recomposing the character of local district life in various locations across Yangon. Most importantly, it raises questions of how an urban majority—as a confluence of heterogeneous ways of life that has long been critical to making viable urban lives in the postcolony—have endured and can continue to endure in changing circumstances. The article draws from critical black thought as a means of generating heuristic concepts to explore the ways in which residents of several Yangon districts make productive use of the simultaneity of seemingly contradictory inclinations.