Structure, Consciousness and Social Transformation: The Adivasis in Thane District, Mahatashtra


ISBN 9789350023273
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ISBN 9789350023273


What is the role of human subjectivity and agency in the process of social transformation within given social structures? This study attempts to answer this complex question with an analysis covering close to two hundred of evolving adivasis/tribal experience and identity in Thane district, Maharashtra: from1818 with the entry of the British, 1944 to 1948 which was the highpoint of the adivasis revolt under the Kisan Sabha and the post independence period up to the present.The integrative processes of individuals and groups coming together in a collective organization in thedefenseof common interests which are perceived as threatened by the ‘other’ and the complex relation between mass-level consciousness and a coherent ideology held primarily by a leadership are factors considered as conducive to the development ofan identity and politicalconsciousness.An important focus has been the relation between the primordial adivasis and class identity.

The introductory theoretical sectionattempts to draw outepistemological andmethodological implications for a study of class consciousness from theoretical positionsthat define the relationship between individual and collective consciousness, ideology and science in their expression and representation of/reflection on social reality.The three sections of a theory of consciousness in processes of change within politico economic structures and the hegemony of the state, social history and an empirical sociological study of adivasi political consciousness; articulated together result in an account of veritable epic proportions in the social sciences.While both historical analysis and empirical study generate material pertinent to the problem under study, theeffortis to serve as an illustration of the application of a conceptual framework and a methodology for the study ofthe politicalconsciousnessand struggles of the subaltern.

The book should be useful for academics, practitioners and policy makers; for the disciplines of sociology, social psychology, political science and for students of the history of the political economy of social transformation as attempted to be seen from below.


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