How are the affluent classes' instruments of control and power becoming the means of resistance for the urban poor against those very affluent classes as their employers? The actions of domestic workers in India are tied to the processes of how Indian cities have developed over the last three decades. Elaborating on these actions, I do not intend to say that domestic workers disrupting GNs is a widespread phenomenon across Indian cities. Instead, I use the workers' experiences in these two Indian cities to hint at political futures which, if harnessed, can transform the social standing of some of the most marginalized workers in Indian society.
Most studies of resistance to land dispossession have been case studies of positive instances of resistance, leaving aside instances of negative instances of acquiescence, and not looking comparatively across cases for broader patterns That’s what makes a recent paper by Michael Levien and Smriti Upadhyay of Johns Hopkins University so exciting. It’s entitled “Toward a Political Sociology of Dispossession: Explaining Opposition to Capital Projects in India,” and it appears in the latest issue of the journal Politics & Society. Using systematic data on more than 23,000 major capital projects across India between 2007 and 2015, Levien and Upadhyay identify key factors that determine whether a project is likely to generate resistance or not. Some of their results may surprise you.
I wrote Critical Reflections on Economy and Politics in India: A Class Theory Perspective (published by Brill in 2020) as an attempt to ‘apply’ to the Indian context, some of the general ideas about class presented in my Marxist class theory for a skeptical world (published in 2017). Many scholars argue [...]