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Volume 20

Dislocations



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Indigenist Mobilization

Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala

Luisa Steur

302 pages, 9 illus., 1 map, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-382-8 $130.00/£92.00 Hb Published (May 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-383-5 eBook


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Reviews

Indigenist Mobilization ably shows that indigeneity is not an inevitable let alone natural or essential approach to identity and action but one that, as anthropology has become adept at describing, is built by specific actors in specific circumstances for specific purposes. This lesson is crucial for the discipline as well as for policymakers who must deal with the demands of newly-energized ‘indigenous’ groups.” · Anthropology Review Database

“This is a wonderfully written piece that will raise some eyebrows and generate some wonderful debates. The critique of indigenist “identity” politics has been sorely needed for a long time, and this work helps us assess that context in a more robust and critical fashion without falling into a lackluster, celebratory mode of championing indigenous politics on a pure level of ‘identity’ and ‘rights’.” · Ananthakrishnan Aiyer, University of Michigan

“A summation of outstanding research, and based on ethical, committed, and egalitarian fieldwork, this book has an enormously important contribution to make to a number of fields, including South Asian Politics, Ethnography and History, Social Movement Analysis, International Studies and Environmental Studies.” · Kavita Philip, UC Irvine

Description

In Kerala, political activists with a background in Communism are now instead asserting political demands on the basis of indigenous identity. Why did a notion of indigenous belonging come to replace the discourse of class in subaltern struggles? Indigenist Mobilization answers this question through a detailed ethnographic study of the dynamics between the Communist party and indigenist activists, and the subtle ways in which global capitalist restructuring leads to a resonance of indigenist visions in the changing everyday working lives of subaltern groups in Kerala.

Luisa Steur is Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam. She is also Lead Editor of Focaal-Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology. Extending her work on indigenism in Kerala, she is now engaged in comparative research on racial inequality and anti-racist activism in Cuba.

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology
Area: Asia



Contents

List of Figures
Maps
Acknowledgements


PART I: INTRODUCTION

Introduction: Research and Activism in, on, and Beyond a Capitalist World System

PART II: ADIVASINESS AND ITS DISCONTENTS

Chapter 1. The “Tribe” in World Time
Chapter 2. The importance of Being Adivasi

PART III: CONTENTION AND CONFLICT AT THE END OF A REFORMIST CYCLE

Chapter 3. Electoral Communism and Its Critics
Chapter 4. Widening Circles of Political Disidentification

PART IV: CONDITIONING INDIGENISM: THE "KERALA MODEL" IN CRISIS

Chapter 5. Salaried but Subaltern: On the Vulnerability of Social Mobility
Chapter 6. Adivasi Labor: Of Workers without Work

PART V: CONCLUSION

Chapter 7. The (Dis)Placements of Class

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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