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Subalternity, Exclusion and Social Change in India
  • Edited by Ashok K. Pankaj, Professor, Council for Social Development, New Delhi, Ajit K. Pandey, Professor, Department of Sociology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
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Book description

This book emphasizes the need for adopting an integrated approach to understand the concepts of subalternity, exclusion and social change in India. It also explores the dynamic relations between these three concepts, instead of treating them as unconnected and discrete social facts. The contributors address some important questions of political economy: Why are subalterns, subalterns, and how does a society produce and reproduce them? Are subalterns a historical construction, and, if so, what are those historical forces and how have they produced subalterns? Also, are there any contemporary forces of subaltern reproduction? What are those forces and how do they operate? How do we place the differentially positioned social groups within the larger subaltern category? The essays in this volume capture ideology, knowledge and power as forces of subaltern reproduction in Indian society, and map the dominant trajectories of emancipation and assertion adopted by different subaltern social groups. Contributors show how subalterns are negotiating emancipation amidst continued oppression, subjugation and atrocities.


"It is a signal achievement to synthesize the three separate subfields of subaltern studies, social exclusion and social dynamics, to subject their worlds of meanings to close scrutiny, to critique ways of producing knowledge and to aspire to inter-disciplinarity. Kudos to the editors and team! A must-read for everyone working in the three subfields, and scholars and activists of South Asia!"

Barbara Harriss-White

"An egalitarian storm is blowing in one of the most deeply inegalitarian societies of the world, empowering subalterns, disclosing entrenched social exclusions and identifying multiple subalternities. This volume adopts a much needed, integrated approach to the understanding of subalternity, exclusion and social change in India, and, instead of treating them as atomistic, unconnected and discrete social facts, explores their dynamic relationships. An important and critical contribution to social science!"

Rajeev Bhargava

"Given the salience of processes of inclusion and exclusion in contemporary Indian society, this anthology fills an outstanding lacuna in our academic understanding. Since the subject has been located in the context of the discourse of subalternity, the distinguished contributors to the volume have set a high benchmark in the multi-faceted discussion of this theme."

Ravindra K. Jain

With some of the best known names in Indian sociology amongst its contributors, this collection will be welcomed by students and scholars across social sciences who are engaging with the evergreen themes of inequality and change in Indian society.

Satish Deshpande

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