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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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Rethinking Hegemony

Rethinking Hegemony

Caste, Class, and Political Subjectivities among Informal Workers in Ahmedabad

(p.54) 2 Rethinking Hegemony
New Subaltern Politics

Manali Desai

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a perceptive analysis of emergent political subjectivities of informal sector workers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Arguing for a conceptual approach that recognizes the negotiated and fractured nature of hegemony, it explores how the hegemonic project of the BJP, which has been centred on the fusion of majoritarian Hindu communalism and neoliberal developmentalism, is appropriated by Dalit and OBC workers in the informal economy. The chapter’s analysis reveals ambivalence as the defining feature of the political subjectivities of subaltern groups which, in turn, destabilizes the BJP’s hegemonic project and renders it potentially vulnerable to assertion from below. The ambivalent nature of these subjectivities opens up ways of remobilising the concept of hegemony in critical dialogue with studies conducted through conceputal optics centred on Foucault’s concept of governmenality and of rethinking the character and form of subaltern resistance.

Keywords:   Hindutva, hegemony, caste, neoliberalism, governmentality

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