Studies in Hegemony, Patriarchy and Colonialism
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A collection of essays written from a Marxist-Feminist perspective, 'Inventing Subjects' is a significant contribution to the field of historical sociology. The essays speak of the different ways in which social subjects and their agencies have been constructed and represented in the context of the development of colonial hegemony and socio-cultural formations in India. Four of the essays focus on constructive proposals for social subjectivities and agencies of Bengali middle-class women by both the indigenous and the colonial elite. The othrt two essays consider the invention or construction of 'India' as an ideological category for ruling, which seeks to impose on it a colonially ascribed identity.
The essays capture the fluidity and complexity of subject construction, and read moral regulations and culture in terms of a hegemonic process. They range from middle-class Bengali women's attempts at self-fashioning to the colonial ideological reflexes within which their projects are articulated. They disclose and query the tensions inherent in the processes of indigenous socio-cultural constructions and identity formations, as well as the reductionism involved in the creation of colonial 'others'.