Several recent studies propose that political choices of Indian youth can hardly be distinguished from those of their parents in many respects. Contrary to this well-established understanding, this article shows that when set apart from the spheres of family and work, students in a flagship Indian university—mostly in the social sciences and humanities—gradually transform their political attitudes in light of prolonged exposure to a campus environment. Through combining ethnographic study with the analysis of a survey of political attitudes of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students, we show that time spent in situ fosters participation to political activities, increases chances of joining a student organization and make students more likely to identify themselves as politically radical. The class and caste background of students, on the other hand, are not strongly associated with political attitudes, showing the integrative nature of politicization on the JNU campus.
- School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies - Lecturer in Political Science
Person: Academic, Teaching & Research