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Violent actions and terrorist attacks against the official systems of societal control are commonplace, making Karachi an armed city. To make things worst, the military force often involved in circles of corruption, is failing to carry its protective role in society.

 

In sharp contrast with the corruption, violence and economic stagnation that characterize the city, an innovative process is taking place which sees the growth of a new social class strongly affected by typically Western symbols of economic and cultural development. Ironically, those are the same symbols which have been fought against and refused by the population for much of its history, at least on a theoretical level, and that are now transforming patterns of consumption significantly.

 

Parallel to revolutions in economic consumption, the Westernization process is also modifying the geography of the city and its surrounding territory. Gigantic shopping malls and popular American icons of consumption are more and more visible, and massive areas destined to people migrating from the country side (untimely to their social isolation) are being built at an unprecedented pace.

 

Karachi is therefore marked by a strong social paradox: The innovative energy of a young social class on the one hand and the ever apparent presence of violence, corruption and fear on the other. In the middle of this social contradiction, it is the new generation’s fight to keep its vital power which makes Karachi one of the most energetic cities of the Asian continent.

 

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