Lonely? Mean? Hostile? Cities get a bad rap. But why? Romit Chowdhury has lived in cities worldwide; from Kolkata to Rotterdam. He tells Alexis and Rosie about the wonder of urban “enchantment” found in a stranger’s smile, our changing ideas of the “urban”, and why anonymity is not always in fact the enemy of civility and friendship in the city.
Plus: how did “walking the city” emerge as a revolutionary research method? And why is Romit so fascinated with public transport – from exploring auto-rickshaw drivers’ masculinity in Kolkata, to studying sexual violence on the busy trains of Tokyo.
Romit, Alexis and Rosie also share their tips for thinking differently about urban life – from Japanese film to novels that explode norms about bodies in the city.
Guest: Romit Chowdhury
Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong
Executive Producer: Alice Bloch
Sound Engineer: David Crackles
Music: Joe Gardner
Artwork: Erin Aniker
Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.
Romit, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended
From The Sociological Review
By Romit Chowdhury