Railway Children and Normative Spatialities
This chapter explores children's engagement with and presence in railway space, a theme depicted, though not thoroughly unpacked, in Lion, Slumdog Millionaire, and beyond. Children use the railway to leave home behind and get to the city, and often stay in railway space for their whole sojourn in the city, or indeed for their whole lives; it is the thread yoking village and city. The railway constitutes perhaps a more powerful metaphor, rendered brick-and-mortar, than any other for child runaways' intimacy with history's forces—empire, capitalism, and rural transformation among them. It is also a space for a very vigorous control imposed upon children's bodies and movements through the vehicle of the state, of informal economies in global capital, and of other mechanisms of power, just as it is a space that the children in question occupy in a type of evasive practice that is irksome to society and government.
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