Trent Brown

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Globalisation has introduced new sources of mobility for India's youth, yet not all youth experience mobility in the same way. The unevenness of mobility trajectories is especially visible in regional towns, where poor rural migrants and more globally connected middle-class youth occupy the same social space. To illustrate these mobility trends, this paper presents the stories of youths from various backgrounds in the town of Darjeeling, exploring different sources of mobility for rural and urban youth. While rural youth experience some forms of upward mobility as they migrate into the town, urban youth are confronted with downward mobility and are frustrated in their aspirations for professional careers and ‘modern’ lifestyles. For aspiring urban youth, upwardly-mobile rural people are seen as a threat to their privilege, blocking their mobility aspirations. This is contributing towards emerging tensions between rural and urban populations within the town.

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Journal Article

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