The Subaltern Subject in Structured Historical Process: Towards an Epistemological Approach
The epistemological analysis of subaltern subjectivity as constituting agency in structured historical processes, subaltern subjectivity being considered as an epistemology in its own right, one considers as the central focus of the volumes ofSubaltern Studiesand has been a much debated question. This study addresses the issue from the perspective of an interpretation of marxian and Gramscian holistic analysis. A theoretical framework drawn from one’s own work on adivasi political consciousness, organization and action within the political economy of the region, covering close to two hundred years in the then Thane district, Maharashtra (Saldanha: 1984/2015), facilitated by the theoretical writings of others is offered in the introduction. This conceptual design for a holistic analysis is used to present and critically appreciate the very extensive writings on peasant consciousness in the volumes ofSubaltern Studiesin the following three chapters, together with the commentaries of several other authors. In the concluding chapter, one’s work assisted by E.P. Thompson is in more direct dialogue with the theoretical arguments in R. Guha’s classical workElementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency(1983) which may be considered as the principal epistemological and ideological thrust underlyingSubaltern Studies.