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Class (in Place) Without Capitalism (in Space)?

  • Don Kalb (a1)

Abstract

Geoff Eley and Keith Nield embrace an institutional perspective à la Ira Katznelson, but they do so with a much stronger emphasis on popular alliance formation and social movements than Katznelson. Social history's role, in their vision, would consist of capturing the dynamics of stability and change in densely and intensively studied local contexts. It is the injustices embedded in such contexts that apparently feed these movements and alliances. Class is thus reduced to a microheuristic of hidden injuries and subaltern identities. However, the concept of social class can only help to articulate a position beyond formal institutionalism and the class language of bipolarity when it is wedded to a nonreductionist, nonessentialist, and nonfinalist theory of capitalism. Seen from this perspective, capitalism is a worldwide and world- embedded process of combined and uneven development that constantly assembles and disassembles the materials from which human communities are made. In short, if we want to rethink class in place, we need to rethink capitalism in space.

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Class (in Place) Without Capitalism (in Space)?

  • Don Kalb (a1)

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