Zehra Hashmi

AnthropologyUniversity of Michigan

Award Information

2017 IDRF Program

AnthropologyUniversity of Michigan

Kinchip: Identification, Security and Biometric Belonging in Urban Pakistan

My research seeks to identify and examine the processes by which governance mechanisms, such as identification systems, shape domains of social life such as kinship relations and dwelling practices. Instead of assuming the impact of such technologies, this project investigates how a state run system is shaped by the practices of those who move through it. Thus, this project will develop an understanding of the relationships between databases, technology, kinship and the status of urban migrants as they crystalize into a networked, state-organized information infrastructure. It will do so at a time when not only Pakistan but many parts of the world are witnessing the expanding role of biometric technology and electronic databases in various domains of daily life. Most broadly, this research asks: how do technologies of governance shape the production and reconstitution of social relations in urban Pakistan? In what manner do migrants’ lived understanding such technologies in turn inform and impact state run institutions?