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In the previous chapter, I briefly illustrated the changes in citizenship and development models institutionalised by Latin American governments from the early twentieth century up to the present day. These transformations have shaped the very identities of social actors, and their modes of interaction with the state and between themselves. How have patterns of collective self-identification changed over time and how have scholars made sense of these processes? In this chapter, I focus on changes in collective identities through a critical assessment of the narratives used to describe the alternations between class and ethnicity as referents for social organisation. Indeed, as Yashar (2005) has famously demonstrated in the Latin American context, different kinds of citizenship regimes diffuse and then activate different identity cleavages. A review of the abundant literature on rural movements in Latin America clearly shows how scholarly production has been greatly influenced by intellectual fashions and political ideologies, often in a cyclical way. As a result, the same aspects of reality have been glorified in certain periods and neglected in others, and most narratives of social change have oscillated between either dichotomous or homogenising interpretations of collective identities. Here, I consciously try to remedy this imbalance as I analyse the political roles, forms of organisation and social relevance of both indigenous and peasant movements since the 1950s.
This article makes a case for weak class reductionism. In particular, we advance a theoretical account that largely “reduces” a social construct called race to another social construct called class. Once you acknowledge that race is not itself a prime mover, but rather something to be explained, class as an explanans turns out to be a strong candidate. Before making this case, we distinguish our account from three alternative forms of class reductionism, which we reject: the notions that (1) class is a more fundamental form of identity than race; (2) class is of greater normative importance than race; and (3) race is an epiphenomenon of class, without independent effects. We then argue for one form of class reduction that establishes race as causally dependent on class. In particular, we provide a general defense of functional explanations, argue that capitalist class relations can functionally explain the persistence of race, and finally, delineate the limits of that explanation. Because the nature of functional explanation requires the explanandum to have important effects in the world, this argument puts race at the center of any discussion of capitalist class relations in racialized societies and explains it on the basis of its effects rather than its causes. Nonetheless, as we show in our conclusion, none of these arguments imply that race or racism is inherent to capitalist class relations. Racism may be explained by capitalism, even if it is not necessary for it.
Was neoliberal capitalism the only possible development path in Eastern Europe after the collapse of real socialism? How did the restoration of capitalism in the former Eastern bloc affect the economic and political situation in the world? Is the support of workers and lower classes for right-wing populists that has been observed in Eastern Europe for the past 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall a permanent phenomenon? By asking these questions, the authors point out that the offensive of the far right began in Europe before the 2015 migration crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, and that it coincided with the weakening of leftist workers’ parties. This process began in the 1990s after the collapse of the Eastern bloc. What can stop this process and change the situation? The solution is to show that another model is still possible: greater egalitarianism, democracy and the rule of law. This sociopolitical alternative, however, must simultaneously oppose two powerful forces: neoliberal capitalism and nationalist populism.
Based on the material obtained from focus group interviews conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the article analyses the mechanisms used by employers towards employees, as well as the adaptation strategies applied by those in precarious employment in Poland. The authors’ considerations refer to anti-worker changes introduced under the pretext of the pandemic in the capitalist labour market: layoffs and cuts in wages, manifestations of discrimination against precarious workers and the potential attitudes of employee self-defence. The authors conclude that it is almost certain that under the conditions of post-pandemic capitalism, the number of the precariat will grow and the neoliberal system will want to retain as many of the anti-worker solutions introduced in the shadow of the pandemic as possible.
Leo Tolstoy wrote throughout his career about Russian peasants, first at a class-inflected distance but later with admiration for their clothing, labor, and religious and moral feelings. As a Count, he automatically held a particular position vis-à-vis peasants, especially before the 1861 emancipation. His literary works and teaching tales depict peasants variously, sometimes idealizing an individual (from Platon Karataev in War and Peace to Alyosha the Pot), other times looking with distrust or frustration at peasant groups and their stubborn opposition to farming innovations. Eventually, Tolstoy famously adopted peasant garb, practiced many kinds of peasant crafts and labor, and enthusiastically communicated with peasant and sectarian thinkers, admiring their simple Christian faith. His primers for peasant children and collections of teaching tales often picked up folktales, paring their style down to the extreme simplicity that he considered typical and preferable. Toward the end of his life Tolstoy sought out the opinions and experiences of Russian peasant laborers in works of passionately engaged journalism. Major figures in Russian revolutionary movements (Lenin, Plekhanov) admired his insights, letting his authority in depicting peasant life continue into the Soviet period.
This chapter situates Lev Tolstoy’s life and work in relation to the social and political context of the estates (meaning, soslovie) system in imperial Russia. Although the Russian nobility was a social estate distinguished by a high degree of heterogeneity when it came to such matters as scope of property (including income and debt), modes of sociability, access to power, relationship to the provinces, and connection to the cultural and political centers (e.g., Moscow, St. Petersburg), the nobility remained a corporate body of subject-citizens united through a necessarily uneven but reciprocal relationship with the autocratic state, a relationship that was articulated as a set of privileges and obligations. In addition to offering a brief historical survey of the noble estate in Russia, this chapter explores a selection of moments in Tolstoy’s life and career in relation to the meanings that accrued to noble status as a demographic designation, a political experience, and a social performance. At times, I turn (briefly) to Tolstoy’s major works of fiction (notably, War and Peace and Anna Karenina) to illustrate how the period’s definitions of nobility found expression in the novelist’s artistic imagination.
The year 2020 was an awakening for some. For others, it reiterated the persistent social injustice in the United States. Compelled by these events, 30 diverse individuals came together from January to May 2021 for a semester-long seminar exploring inequity in archaeological practice. The seminar's discussions spotlighted the inequity and social injustices that are deeply embedded within the discipline. However, inequity in archaeology is often ignored or treated narrowly as discrete, if loosely bound, problems. A broad approach to inequity in archaeology revealed injustice to be intersectional, with compounding effects. Through the overarching themes of individual, community, theory, and practice, we (a subset of the seminar's participants) explore inequity and its role in various facets of archaeology, including North–South relations, publication, resource distribution, class differences, accessibility, inclusive theories, service to nonarchaeological communities, fieldwork, mentorship, and more. We focus on creating a roadmap for understanding the intersectionality of issues of inequity and suggesting avenues for continued education and direct engagement. We argue that community-building—by providing mutual support and building alliances—provides a pathway for realizing greater equity in our discipline.
This concluding chapter brings together the arguments of the four chapters in order to assess broader changes and continuities in Roman musical culture during the period under consideration in the book. While the ideological frameworks underpinning musical discourses remained largely constant over time, and competing political actors continued to use music for their own ends, it is notable that the gradual evolution of Roman society and politics prompted new types of engagement with music. This has important ramifications for our understanding of Rome’s relationship with Greek culture, as well as the interactions between elites and non-elites.
Wallace wrote about masculinity throughout his career, from The Broom of the System’s (1987) parodies of neurotic macho posturing to The Pale King’s (2011) encomiums to white-collar workers. It is peculiar, then, that critical attention to Wallace’s treatment of masculinity is still spotty. Part of the reason for this, perhaps, is that Wallace’s gender politics were rather conservative, and therefore anathema to scholarly communities rightly committed to challenging traditional ideas of masculinity. However, there is more nuance, complication and ambiguity in Wallace’s depictions of masculinity than is normally acknowledged, even if his works do remain broadly masculinist in their tenor, and given to portraying a kind of “masculinity in crisis.” This chapter examines these points of interest and dissonance by drawing particular attention to the following overlapping themes: sport and the body, fatherhood, and class, offering grounds from which scholars can investigate this topic in greater detail. Similarly, although Wallace’s texts generally resist being recruited into a progressive gender politics, I argue that their depictions of masculinity are nevertheless worth considering. By paying attention to masculinity in his work, we can further explicate Wallace’s aesthetic innovations, better historicize his relation to patriarchy, and – as the case may be – reaffirm the need to criticize what he has to say about men.
This chapter considers Wallace’s use of individual language and narrative as a means for self-creation, from the heavily be-nicknamed LaVache in Broom, who molds his vocabulary to evade communication with his family, to the impersonal marketing argots of commercial focus groups, by way of the community-forming ritual recitations of AA. The chapter highlights Wallace’s extraordinarily prolific (though not uniformly successful) mimesis of vernacular, noting some of the more interesting failures of his career in this respect, including “Solomon Silverfish” and sections of Infinite Jest. This chapter elucidates the operation of language, both monologic and dialogic, as key to Wallace’s aesthetic project and as a central weapon in his ethical strategy for overcoming solipsism, involving sincerity, cooperation and absolute faith in the other.
Previous studies of Lebanese Salafism have neglected the analysis of the local adaptation of global Salafism to the Lebanese context. This chapter seeks to fill that gap by exploring how Salafism found a foothold in Tripoli in the 1990s and how local repertoires and identities were instrumental in popularizing Salafism among the local poor. Northern Lebanon and Tripoli constituted as the primary cradle of Lebanese Salafism; the Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon constituted as a further Salafi hotspot.
Lebanese Salafi in the Tripoli discourse had distinct characteristics. More pragmatic and more business-oriented than Salafism in other Arab countries, it depended on financial patronage from the Gulf. The Lebanese Salafis’ lack of religious autonomy created an opening for jihadi underground organizations. Although Salafi ideology is important in explaining why males joined jihadi groups in Tripoli, social factors often played an even more decisive role. This chapter explores how jihadi groups could readily gain a foothold in poor quarters, taking advantage of the prevailing informality and making these hiding places for outlaws and armed groups.
How do sequences of upward and downward socioeconomic mobility influence political views among those who have “risen” or “fallen” during periods of leftist governance? While existing studies identify a range of factors, long-term mobility trajectories have been largely unexplored. The question has particular salience in contemporary Brazil, where, after a decade of extraordinary poverty reduction on the watch of the leftist Workers’ Party (PT), a subsequent period of economic and political crises intensified anti-PT sentiment. This article uses original data from the 2016 Brazil’s Once-Rising Poor (BORP) Survey, using a 3-city sample of 822 poor and working-class Brazilians to analyze the relationship between retrospective assessments of prior socioeconomic mobility and anti-PT sentiment. The study found that people who reported a “stalled” mobility sequence (upward mobility followed by static or downward mobility) were more likely to harbor anti-left sentiment than other groups, as measured by this study’s anti-PT index.
We all share a common interest in preserving the well-being of our planet. But the changing climate does not affect us in the same ways, at the same pace, or to the same degree. This is because of where we live, but also due to our respective levels of wealth and income, our physical and mental disabilities, the colour of our skin. We can’t address climate change without contending with issues of difference and inequality. It’s precisely because those least responsible for climate change will suffer its most severe impacts – within cities and regions and across the globe – that an approach which takes account of that imbalance is essential. Applying an equality lens to climate litigation is not just the right thing to do; it’s also more effective. By underscoring the ways in which climate change is a reflection of unjust power relations, a focus on equality makes it more likely that policy will attend to climate change’s causes and help ensure that the most culpable bear the greatest costs of redress. While some cases should advance the universal rights of everyone to a sustainable climate, litigation through an equality lens offers distinctive political, strategic, and jurisprudential advantages.
We know from election studies which demographic characteristics best predict vote choice, but we know far less about how citizens perceive their similarity to one another in terms of these characteristics. Previous research suggests that such perceptions may be crucial for the politicization of social identities and the emergence of political identities. I present results from a novel measurement strategy where respondents are presented with the profiles of two fellow citizens, including several demographic attributes. Respondents are asked which of the two they perceive themselves to have more in common with in terms of politics. Respondents' implicit trade-off of different demographic similarities allows me to measure the relative strength of their perceived political similarities. I find an important role for shared ethnicity, noticeably surpassing shared social class, age and education. Finally, I find that shared ethnicity receives substantially more weight among 2017 Conservative and 2016 Leave voters than among Labour and Remain voters.
Chapter 3 examines the Permanent Inter-Allied Committee for the War Disabled (PIC), which, from 1917 to 1922, hosted annual conferences, created an institute on the Rue du Bac in Paris for the study and cataloguing of pertinent information, and published the Inter-Allied Review to circulate the results of their efforts. PIC members and affiliates – many of whom were prolific contributors to the Allied culture of rehabilitation – shared a common vocabulary for, and framing of, the work of rehabilitation. They also, by and large, shared an understanding of their role within it, in terms that preserved the social hierarchy through preservation of their masculinity vis-à-vis the working-class soldier. The cooperative space created by the PIC, where government and military officials, social reformers, and medical practitioners came together, encouraged the reimagination of belonging, but whether the soldier and his sacrifice belonged to the nation, the Allies, or to humanity – and therefore whether nations ought to maintain exclusive responsibility for the disabled soldier – was never fully resolved.
Chapter 4 examines the manufacture and provision of artificial limbs reveals, demonstrating that the maintenance of masculine bodies as national bodies, in the strictest sense, was of paramount concern during the war. While wartime flows of technical knowledge ultimately meant that prosthetic limbs throughout the Allied nations became largely indistinguishable, government authorities who oversaw production were determined to see men refitted with goods that were in essence ‘national’, in their actual construction and in their materials. Technological processes could be transnational composites but the bodies that they managed could not. Wartime prosthetic devices embodied the values of the Allied culture of rehabilitation, manifesting the remaking of the working-class body according to middle-class values. New devices allowed men to perform according to the pre-war masculine ideal and to carry out the demands of labour, but the promises of science to return men to their pre-war forms fell short and veterans participated in various modes of self-fashioning and advocacy to achieve satisfactory solutions on their own terms.
Chapter 2 investigates the development of a transnational Allied culture of rehabilitation that underwrote local and national efforts to rehabilitate the war disabled. Military and government officials, social reformers, philanthropists, and medical authorities contributed, throughout the war, to a robust, multi-directional campaign that championed the virtues of rehabilitation and solicited support for programmes that aimed to fit the war disabled into post-war society. Such literature became, itself, a way to imagine the contours of the post-war world with respect to hierarchies of gender and class and the roles of religion, science, rights, and internationalism. The co-constructed nature of the wartime culture of rehabilitation, in which images and rhetoric were frequently borrowed and re-circulated amongst nations, served to harmonise – though not entirely homogenise – Allied visions for rehabilitation and for social rights and welfare, more broadly.
In James’s late tales, he offers a critique of his own procedures, raising to an absurd pitch one of his most characteristic structures of feeling: the determining power of an absent cause, as his characters contemplate something that is not only hidden from view but is constitutively unavailable for direct representation. This structure, I argue, is fundamentally about the veiled social relations of the all-dominating money culture James found in The American Scene. James’s work thus takes shape against the background of an economic world that is less represented than it is formalized as the very structure from which it seeks autonomy. If the “Beast in the Jungle” and The Sacred Fount offer the most negative version of this autonomy – works that fail to engage the world around them – The Golden Bowl tells a different story, consistently gesturing towards a series of determining social contexts it nevertheless withholds from the reader’s view. In this way, James shows us how the fine discriminations in which he is invested rest on a set of real-world determinations that his characters are constitutively unable to see.
In the eastern Indian steel town of Rourkela, Adivasis are widely stereotyped as uneducated, jangli (‘wild’), and drinkers, and they are therefore held to make for a special type of worker. Their Adivasi ‘nature’ makes them an ideal fit for facing the heat, dust, and fumes in the so-called ‘hot shops’ of the local public-sector steel plant. It is also said that Adivasis are, in fact, not well suited for the permanent and well-paid jobs the public-sector steel plant provides, and that they are better employed as contract workers who are paid little and by the day, and on whom the industry has increasingly relied since the 1970s. Critically engaging with Bourgois’ concept of ‘conjugated oppression’, I will show how these casteist stereotypes entrench the class position of Adivasis in the local steel industry, but also how this position has nevertheless changed over time—for some for the better, for many for the worse. Furthermore, although this polarization is driven by larger political economic changes it is exacerbated by the ways in which the better-off among the stereotyped Adivasi workers respond to them. This calls, I argue, for close attention to be given to the historical dynamics in the relations between class and caste (or ‘tribe’) and in the struggles related to them.
This chapter focuses on how patronage politics interacts with the politics of identity, notably ethnicity, religion, gender, and class, across Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The chapter highlights rich variety of forms of patronage politics across these categories, co-existing with underlying similarity in function. Politicians cater to a wide range of social identities and target varied identity groups with patronage, showing immense creativity when doing so. But the underlying goal of such politicians across our highly diverse, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious contexts is fundamentally the same: to capture more votes using offers or promises of patronage. This instrumental process generally reinforces rather than erodes existing social identities (except, the chapter points out, those based on class, which clientelist politics tends to undermine by connecting lower-class recipients of patronage to higher-status dispensers of it). Even so, particularly where electoral systems encourage broadly inclusive strategies, patronage distribution regularly crosses identity-group boundaries and thus tends to bridge divides rather than promoting deeper within-group bonding.