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Black Lives Matter, capital and ideology: spiraling out from India

Shah, Alpa ORCID: 0000-0003-1233-6516 and Lerche, Jens (2021) Black Lives Matter, capital and ideology: spiraling out from India. British Journal of Sociology, 72. pp. 93-105. ISSN 0007-1315

[img] Text (Shah and Lerche forthcoming Brit J of Sociology) - Accepted Version
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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-4446.12815


Piketty's propositions for arresting inequality are discussed through the lens of racism/casteism. We focus on the case of India's George Floyds—the persistence of caste and tribe oppression under economic growth in India—through the insights of our long‐term ethnographic research. We show that inequalities are intimately tied to dynamics of capitalist accumulation in which racial/ethnic/caste/tribe and gender difference is crucial. We argue for an analysis that truly integrates ideology and the dynamics of political economy. The wider implications, we argue are political; they lie in the question of what is to be done. Despite his ambitions to decenter economics, Piketty remains trapped in the logic of economics for what he proposes are essentially economic reforms within capitalism. Moreover, ideological change cannot be a matter of choice only, and cannot be challenged solely at the level of ideas around economic inequality. It will also have to be fought as a direct contest of oppressive ideologies such as racism, casteism, and patriarchy, leading to new counter‐hegemonic positions. We will argue that this takes us from a global history of ideology to a global anthropology of praxis. A first step is to genuinely center conversations with disciplines like anthropology, sociology, and subaltern history studying people and voices from below and from the margins, and the perspectives of scholars and activists from below and from the margins.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 London School of Economics and Political Science
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 12:03
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2024 02:15

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