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GHETTO AND WITHIN: CLASS, IDENTITY, STATE AND POLITICAL MOBILISATION

My latest book is out:

Ghetto and Within: Class, Identity, State and Politics of Mobilisation

By Ravi Kumar

Aakar Books: Delhi

ISBN 978-93-5002-069-2

Aakar Books: http://www.aakarbooks.com

This work is an effort to understand and explore the linkages between the process of ghettoisation, identity formation and the political economy of capitalism. Through fieldwork in the city of Delhi it looks at how a particular form of identity politics sustains the process of ghettoisation of a community and creates a situation which downplays the need for a class based mobilisation. It argues that identity politics need to be seen in conjunction with the way class formation and class politics within a particular community unfolds itself. This framework allows us to not only understand the larger issues such as that of communal politics but also provides us insights into the way differential perceptions about ‘violence’ are forged within a community. It seeks to explore how class antagonism becomes a non-issue because the social identity dominates the discourse.  

“Ravi Kumar’s exploration of identity formation in the context of community offers the reader an important analysis of how class and religion can influence residential decisions, and paints a careful picture of how seemingly homogenous communities when seen from the outside are actually multi-layered social structures. This is an important work, taking on the common view that a ghetto represents socially imposed separation of minority groups, highlighting instead a process of defensive isolation from a hostile environment and demonstrating how class-based social reproduction within this microcosm of society is also a site of political struggle for change. Ghetto and Within is an important read for any student of social mobilization providing important lessons about identity politics and resistance” — David Fasenfest, Wayne State University, and Editor, ‘Critical Sociology’.

“Ravi Kumar argues convincingly that, in a world ‘where the rule of capital has penetrated every sphere of our existence’, a consideration of class dynamics must be central to a full understanding of religious ghettos in modern India” — Mike Cole, Author of ‘Critical Race Theory and Education: A Marxist Analysis’.

Ghetto and Within is a lucid examination of the political economy of identity formation. Examining the social, political, economic and historical processes of ghetto formation, the book makes a powerful case for ghettos as internal relations that are constitutive products of the crisis of capitalism. It is a book relevant to the serious conflicts of our time as these are imbricated in capitalist social relations. And it will help point towards avenues of transformation” — Peter McLaren, University of California, Los Angeles.

“This is an important contribution to and contextually located Marxist analysis of how religion, communalism, collective religious identity suppress and displace consciousness of exploitation based on class. It is important in the global analysis of the empirical and analytical and political relationships between identitarian consciousness and class consciousness. This analysis has resonance not just within the Muslim ghettos of India, but within religious, ‘racial’/ethnic ghettos globally, in Harlem New York, in the ex-mill towns of northern England, and wherever ghettos of space are reinforced by ghettos of the mind that prioritise culturalist analyses at the expense of materialist analyses, consciousness and solidaristic, class-based political action” — Dave Hill, Chief Editor, ‘Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies’.

Ravi Kumar is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He worked on the ‘Dynamics of Identity Formation: The Political Economy of Backward Castes in Bihar’ for his doctorate, and has written over a dozen articles on education, communalism and politics. His publications include The Politics of Imperialism and Counterstrategies (co-edited, Delhi, Aakar Books, 2004); The Crisis of Elementary Education in India (edited, New Delhi, Sage, 2006); Global Neoliberalism and Education and Its Consequences (co-edited, New York, Routledge, 2009). His specialisation is social movements, identity politics, social theory and sociology of knowledge. He is co-editor of Radical Notes, an online journal.

Ravi Kumar, Ph.D. || Assistant Professor || Department of Sociology || Jamia Millia Islamia University || Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Marg, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi – 110025
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Radical Notes: http://www.radicalnotes.com
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Blog: http://againstcapital.wordpress.com
Blog: http://againstcapital.blog.com

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