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New Subaltern PoliticsReconceptualizing Hegemony and Resistance in Contemporary India$
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Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Srila Roy

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199457557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199457557.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

‘Community’ and the Politics of Caste, Class, and Representation in the Singur Movement, West Bengal

‘Community’ and the Politics of Caste, Class, and Representation in the Singur Movement, West Bengal

Chapter:
(p.202) 8 ‘Community’ and the Politics of Caste, Class, and Representation in the Singur Movement, West Bengal
Source:
New Subaltern Politics
Author(s):

Kenneth Bo Nielsen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199457557.003.0009

This chapter is concerned with what the civil-political society dichotomy does for the conceptualisation of ‘community’ in Subaltern Studies. While the early subalternists presumed pre-existing community formations and solidarities, later ones namely Partha Chatterjee argue that communities are ‘strategically created in the course of political action’. Notwithstanding this theoretical advancement over the earlier conception of community, Chatterjee’s ‘community’ appears ‘curiously bereft’ of an appreciation of internal power dynamics and social hierarchies thus reinforcing romanticized notions of unified subaltern collectives and consciousness. This chapter uses its case study of the movement against land acquisition and industrialisation in rural West Bengal to show how hierarchies pertaining to caste and class complicate straightforward assumptions of community formation and solidarity.

Keywords:   Singur, land struggles, community, caste, class, Partha Chatterjee

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