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

ClassSubscribe to Class

Monetary Economics of Fascism and a Working-class Alternative

Fascism is the usurpation of the economic process by the elite and the related decimation of the working class and the poor. This process is represented by the shrinkage of fiat money backing the production of goods and services and its substitution by financial instruments. This domestic coup is accomplished by the spread of what is generally referred to as “false consciousness.” The tools of basic economics can be fashioned to introduce students to these concepts. Mainstream economists continue to demonstrate the different ways utility functions can be manipulated.

Trade Unions in Banks Remain Relevant

“Are Trade Unions Relevant in the Indian Banking Sector?” by Bino Paul G D and Pooja Gupta Mahurkar (EPW, 16 April 2016) contains surmises and generalisations without verifiable supporting data, apart from glaring contradictions. Further, it does not address the current challenges before bank unions.

Inequality in Rural Nagaland

Tribal villages are usually perceived to be the egalitarian counterparts to villages in India that are ruled by hierarchical caste structures. Taking the case of Ao Naga villages, clan rank and class are found to be important for understanding the changing structures of inequality. Today, these villages are deeply integrated into the larger milieus: politics, administration, education and the market economy. The social mechanisms responsible for inequality are now to a large degree centred outside the village, and living in a village has become almost identical with a lower social status. One result of this process is that instead of clan ranks, the access to outside resources forms the basis of social inequality within the village. Based on secondary sources as well as original fieldwork, an account of how this integration leads to class differentiations at the village level is presented.

Village Restudies

An account of the inception, management and initial conclusions of a research project which "restudied" three villages, one each in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat is presented. These villages had been first studied in the 1950s by British anthropologists F G Bailey, Adrian C Mayer and David F Pocock. The new research was to focus on the sociological conditions of life in these villages today and compare the results of the new surveys with the data from the 1950s. The material presented here also points to some of the strengths, weaknesses and idiosyncratic charms of "restudies."

Revisiting the Rural in 21st Century India

The Review of Rural Affairs this time focuses largely on "restudies" of villages that were studied by social anthropologists and economists in the 1950s. The papers are not simply about documenting the unfolding evolutionary process of development, but bring new perspectives of social science understanding to the study of rural society, and also reflect on the enterprise of anthropology and fieldwork. Jamgod in Madhya Pradesh, Sundarana in Gujarat, Bisipara in Odisha, and Palanpur and Khanpur in Uttar Pradesh were restudied, while one paper presents the results of a fresh study of villages in Nagaland.

How Egalitarian Is Indian Sociology?

Even after completing a hundred years Indian sociology is practised in the milieu of domination. British, European and American domination has been well documented while the domination of the so-called twice-born castes has not been analysed. This article highlights the domination of the twice-born castes at four levels--as members practising sociology in universities, institutions and colleges, in the sphere of production of knowledge while writing chapters of books, producing knowledge with the help of scriptural sources, or producing data from the field and while teaching sociology in the classrooms.

Beyond Workers and Peasants

Class in Contemporary China by David S G Goodman; New York: Wiley, 2014; pp xvii+233, £15.99

Dalit Politics in India

Dalit political parties in North and Central India have overwhelmingly pursued an agenda of recognition, calling for equal respect, rather than one of redistribution. While this has improved the social and economic standing of Dalits better situated in terms of class, it has failed to substantively improve the lives of the majority of Dalits. Ultimately, Dalits' quest for equal treatment will be limited so long as it lacks a redistributive politics that addresses exploitative economic relations.

An Unholy Festival

In a number of Indian festivals, the rituals and practices alienate different sections of society and even exploit them. Such is the case with the Holi celebrations in Charthari village in Uttar Pradesh where the dalits and women bear the brunt of the hard work that goes into observing the occasion but are not permitted to participate in the "enjoyment". This raises questions about interpretations of Holi as the carnivalesque churning of social hierarchies.

Revisiting Agrarian Bihar

Social Power and Everyday Class Relations: Agrarian Transformation in North Bihar by Anand Chakravarti; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2001; pp 311, Rs 525.

From Violence to Supportive Practice

The politics of gender and feminist research have outlined the deprivations and unequal entitlements in the lives of women. This frame has also produced the view that understanding women's lives is incomplete without looking at their everyday locations within families that must include relations with men. This research has tried to bring into focus the way that men's support can be outlined and reflected upon in the context of gender equality and domestic democracy. Supportive practices are more than an `alternative' frame within which to place men. They enable us to hear an aspect of men's lives and expressions of their subjective positions in ways that have not so far been addressed.

The Peasant Question from Marx to Lenin

What is a class? Do peasants constitute a single class? What is the peasant question from the Marxists' revolutionary perspective? These issues are raised in this paper, based on the writings of Marx, Engels and Lenin, above all. The empirical part, mainly on the Russian agrarian scene from the 1890s to 1930, explores if the peasants constituted a cohesive social force free from internal contradictions. There is also a brief discussion on the post-Soviet situation.

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