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Inventing Subjects

Inventing Subjects

Studies in Hegemony, Patriarchy and Colonialism

By Himani Bannerji

A Marxist-Feminist perspective on the development of socio-cultural formations in colonial India.

Hardback, 234 Pages

ISBN:9781843310723

January 2002

£70.00, $115.00

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  • About This Book
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About This Book

A collection of essays written from a Marxist-Feminist perspective, 'Inventing Subjects' is a significant contribution to the field of historical sociology. The essays speak of the different ways in which social subjects and their agencies have been constructed and represented in the context of the development of colonial hegemony and socio-cultural formations in India. Four of the essays focus on constructive proposals for social subjectivities and agencies of Bengali middle-class women by both the indigenous and the colonial elite. The othrt two essays consider the invention or construction of 'India' as an ideological category for ruling, which seeks to impose on it a colonially ascribed identity. The essays capture the fluidity and complexity of subject construction, and read moral regulations and culture in terms of a hegemonic process. They range from middle-class Bengali women's attempts at self-fashioning to the colonial ideological reflexes within which their projects are articulated. They disclose and query the tensions inherent in the processes of indigenous socio-cultural constructions and identity formations, as well as the reductionism involved in the creation of colonial 'others'.

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Author Information

Himani Bannerji is Associate Professor of Sociology at York University, Toronto, Canada, and has an active research and teaching connection with India, especially West Bengal, through the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

Series

Anthem South Asian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Foreword; Inventing Subject: An Introduction; Writing 'India', Doing 'Ideology': William Jones' Construction of India as an Ideological Category; Beyond the Ruling Category to What Actually Happens: Notes on James Mill's Historiography in 'The History of British India'; Age of Consent and Hegemonic Social Reform; Attired in Virtue: Discourse on Shame (lajja) and Clothing of the Gentlewoman (bhadramahila) in Colonial Bengal; Fashioning a Self: Educational Proposals for and by Women in Popular Magazines in Colonial Bengal; Re-Generation: Mothers and Daughters in Bengal's Literary Space; References; Index

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