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The Subaltern Subject in Structured Historical Process: Towards an Epistemological Approach

Denzil Saldanha (Author)

The epistemological analysis of subaltern subjectivity as constituting agency in structured historical processes, subaltern subjectivity being considered as an epistemology in its own right, one considers as the central focus of the volumes of Subaltern Studies and has been a much debated question. This study addresses the issue from the perspective of an interpretation of marxian and Gramscian holistic analysis. A theoretical framework drawn from one’s own work on adivasi political consciousness, organization and action within the political economy of the region, covering close to two hundred years in the then Thane district, Maharashtra (Saldanha: 1984/2015), facilitated by the theoretical writings of others is offered in the introduction. This conceptual design for a holistic analysis is used to present and critically appreciate the very extensive writings on peasant consciousness in the volumes of Subaltern Studies in the following three chapters, together with the commentaries of several other authors. In the concluding chapter, one’s work assisted by E.P. Thompson is in more direct dialogue with the theoretical arguments in R. Guha’s classical work Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency (1983) which may be considered as the principal epistemological and ideological thrust underlying Subaltern Studies.

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About the author

Denzil Saldanha

Denzil Saldanha is Professor, Centre for Sociology of Education, Tata Institute of Social science, Mumbai. His research interests have been in the areas of social movements; voluntary social action groups and development organizations; elementary, non-formal and adult education. He has several publications to this credit in these areas. He has been teaching, researching and contributing to policy in these areas, particularly in the field of adult education, for over two decades. His involvement with higher education institutions and NGOs has opened new fields of social action and enquiry. He has served as a member of state and national level committees such as the National Literacy Mission Authority and planning sub-committees and as a consultant to government, funding agencies, bilateral and multilateral institutions. 

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Bibliographic information

Title The Subaltern Subject in Structured Historical Process: Towards an Epistemological Approach
Format Hardcover
Date published: 31.12.2015
Edition 1st. ed.
Publisher Aakar Books
Language: English
isbn 9789350023143
length 108p.,