Oruzgan Travel on It is thus all the more remarkable that, as Mathew recalls, Pakistani and Indian drivers acted side by side during the 1998 New York taxi strike when some 24, 000 yellow cab drivers took their cars off the road to protest new safety measures that subjected them to higher fines, mandatory drug testing, higher liability insurance requirements, and a prohibitive means of attaching penalty points to their licenses. Just one week after their home countries tested nuclear weapons in an environment of escalating nationalist tensions, these drivers acted together in two day-long strikes that brought the city to a halt. Mathew bases his research on a particular image of globalization and neoliberalism as well as a critique of multiculturalism and postcolonialism as a set of state- and market-friendly discourses that protect established class positions. At times this seems to us too rigid.
More interesting, in our view, is the way Taxi! Can be read as a chronicle of the proliferation of borders in the world today and the multiscalar roles they play in the current reorganization of working lives.
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Although Mathew's study focuses on a single city, the increasing heterogeneity of global space is evident in the stories he tells about negotiating the metropolis. Issues of territory, jurisdiction, division of labor, governance, sovereignty, and translation all collapse into the urban spaces that these drivers traverse.
Oruzgan Travel 2016.