Intimate Evictability: Urban Displacement, Familial Violence and Women’s Claim to Home in Urban Sri Lanka

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‘Evictability’ describes the role urban displacements play in the governance of ‘unwanted’ citizens in Europe where eviction is imminent yet uncertain. This paper proposes ‘intimate evictability’. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the paper illuminates how the governance of the working-class poor via eviction and relocation interfaces with the intimate sphere to produce hostilities between kin. The life-stories of four women illustrate how state policies that discard the poor by denying their right to a home percolate to the home in the form of inheritance disputes and domestic violence. The dual effects of urban displacement and familial violence, the paper argues, is a gendered form of ‘slow violence’ occurring on multiple scales. This paper makes a case for why bureaucratic processes that ‘other’ the poor must be read as existing on the same continuum as acrimonious kinship relations that are about discarding unwanted women from home and family.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalEthnos. Journal of Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


  • home
  • familial violence
  • urban displacement
  • urban regeneration
  • Sri Lanka

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