The work of tuitions: Moral infrastructure in a Delhi neighborhood

Salovaara, Isabel M. (2017) The work of tuitions: Moral infrastructure in a Delhi neighborhood. Asian Anthropology, 16 (4). pp. 243-260. ISSN 1683478X

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In India, as in many other Asian countries, private tutoring to supplement school education and prepare students for competitive examinations is a burgeoning industry. These “tuitions” provide opportunities for self-employment, including for many women working in or near their homes. Through an ethnographic study of tutors in a Delhi neighborhood, this article presents tuitions work as a form of moral infrastructure. This infrastructure is foundational to the fulfillment of evolving social roles that comprise the realization of relational personhood in contemporary urban India. Consequently, it remains robust – indeed, continues to expand – despite encompassing conflicting projects and discourses. Through the case of tuitions, this article proposes a theoretical framework for conceptualizing infrastructures as channels for movement that articulate normative visions of and for society. These prescribed channels may simultaneously invite shortcuts, bypasses, and other unintended uses that incrementally transform those visions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Tutoring | Work | Infrastructure | Morality | Delhi
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Anthropology
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Mr Sombir Dahiya
Date Deposited: 10 May 2022 06:03
Last Modified: 10 May 2022 06:03
Official URL:


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