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Handbook of Religion and the Asian CityAspiration and Urbanization in the Twenty-First Century$
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Peter van der Veer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520281226

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520281226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Aspiring in Karachi

Aspiring in Karachi

Breathing Life into the City of Death

(p.351) 19 Aspiring in Karachi
Handbook of Religion and the Asian City

Noman Baig

University of California Press

This chapter explores how traders in Karachi shape their subjectivity to determine their spot and futures trading. Focusing on the experience of an owner of a money-changing shop with the pseudonym Aamir, it reflects on the notion of aspiration as oriented toward the future and shows that the shaping of subjectivity depends on cultural milieu. It explains how Aamir consciously cultivates his subjectivity in order to determine its course through spiritual exercises taught by a Sufi master who has transformed the way Aamir see himself and his relationship with money. It argues that Aamir's trading practices are fused with the spiritual exercise of zikr and considers how orienting the attention to breathing/aspiring as a way of living in the present becomes an ambivalent exercise.

Keywords:   traders, Karachi, subjectivity, futures trading, aspiration, spiritual exercises, money, zikr, breathing

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