Body Politics and the Politics of Technology: Technological Experiences Among Street-Based Sex workers in Bangalore

Anant Kamath, Neethi P | 2021


This paper illustrates how body politics and the politics of technology compound one another for female street-based sex workers (FSSWs) in Bangalore city, India, in their experiences of three technologies – mobile phones, CCTV surveillance, and television media. Mobile phones have emerged as an integral part of street-based sex work in Bangalore as a result of FSSWs abstaining from public spaces that have been overwhelmingly eroded due to urban transition and gentrification over the last two decades in Bangalore, as well as due to their inherent advantages. Simultaneously, intensified CCTV surveillance of city spaces keeps watch on them, while native-language television media, a techno-cultural predator, routinely conducts self-assigned gentrification operations covertly or overtly discovering and publicly disseminating information on immorality and delinquency. All three technological experiences understandably have had complicated fallouts for FSSWs, a result of the politics of technology that are at the foundations of these experiences.