ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Relevance (or Irrelevance) of Subaltern Studies

Relevance (or Irrelevance) of Subaltern Studies Vinay Bahl Subaltern studies, while claiming to rewrite history from the perspective of subaltern groups as a prelude to creating a new emancipatory politics, has deviated from its original intent and become mired in post modernist debates about 'difference', A critique of this brand of history writing should start from a simple question: what is its politics, and whose interests may it serve? But as this paper demonstrates, the subalternist approach can be criticised on many other grounds as well, including its lack of a coherent theory of how subjectivity and agency are constructed within a concrete historical context, and its refusal to acknowledge how global capitalist forces are being worked out on the ground, including the generation of 'differences'.

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