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The complexity of Spivak’s project: a Marxist interpretation

The complexity of Spivak’s project: a Marxist interpretation The purpose of this paper is to engage some of the central themes of Gayatri Spivak’s seminal essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak? (CSS)” In particular, her criticisms of post-structuralism’s treatment of the “subject” as well as its privileging of “discourse” and micrological analyses of power vis-à-vis her discussion of Foucault and Deleuze.Design/methodology/approachThe paper also draws on a historical materialist approach to examine how Spivak’s own work often reinscribes the discursive and politically pusillanimous tendencies of both post-structuralist and post-colonialist thought.FindingsThis lends itself to the “complexification” of capitalism – a bourgeois form of mystification of capital’s essential workings and the underlying class structure of the globalized economy, inclusive of “postcolonial” societies.Originality/valueThe authors conclude that CSS – while an important question – is ultimately a misdirected one that, in effect, mistakes discursive empowerment for social and economic enablement. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research Journal Emerald Publishing

The complexity of Spivak’s project: a Marxist interpretation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1443-9883
DOI
10.1108/qrj-d-17-00052
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to engage some of the central themes of Gayatri Spivak’s seminal essay, “Can the Subaltern Speak? (CSS)” In particular, her criticisms of post-structuralism’s treatment of the “subject” as well as its privileging of “discourse” and micrological analyses of power vis-à-vis her discussion of Foucault and Deleuze.Design/methodology/approachThe paper also draws on a historical materialist approach to examine how Spivak’s own work often reinscribes the discursive and politically pusillanimous tendencies of both post-structuralist and post-colonialist thought.FindingsThis lends itself to the “complexification” of capitalism – a bourgeois form of mystification of capital’s essential workings and the underlying class structure of the globalized economy, inclusive of “postcolonial” societies.Originality/valueThe authors conclude that CSS – while an important question – is ultimately a misdirected one that, in effect, mistakes discursive empowerment for social and economic enablement.

Journal

Qualitative Research JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: May 10, 2018

Keywords: Discourse; Representation; Marx; Ideology critique; Power analysis

References