The Ideological Condition: Selected Essays on History, Race and Gender


The Ideological Condition: Selected Essays on History, Race and Gender is a reader comprised of many of Himani Bannerji’s English writings over a long period of teaching and research in Canada and India. Bannerji creates an interdisciplinary analytical method and extends the possibilities of historical materialism by predominantly drawing on Marx, Gramsci, and Dorothy Smith. Essays here instantiate Marx’s general proposition that while all ideology is a form of consciousness, all forms of consciousness are not ideological. Applying this insight to issues ranging from patriarchy through race, class, nationalism, liberalism and fascism, Bannerji breaks through East-West binaries, challenging the mystifying approaches to the constitution of the social, and shows that a sustained struggle against ideological thinking is at the heart of a fundamental socialist struggle.

Shortlisted for the Deutscher Memorial Prize 2021.

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Himani Bannerji is Professor Emeritus, Sociology, York University, Canada. Publications include Demography and Democracy: Essays on Nationalism, Gender and Ideology (2011); Inventing Subjects: Studies in Hegemony, Patriarchy and Colonialism (2001); The Dark Side of the Nation: Essays on Multiculturalism, Nationalism and Racism (2000); Thinking Through: Essays on Feminism, Marxism and Anti-Racism (1995).
The Ideological Condition is shortlisted for the Deutscher Memorial Prize 2021.
Overview of Previously Published Articles

Part 1 Methods

Section 1 Ideology and the Social
1 Building from Marx: Reflections on ‘Race’, Gender and Class

2 Marxism and Antiracism in Theory and Practice

3 Ideology

4 But Who Speaks for Us? Experience and Agency in Conventional Feminist Paradigms

5 Politics and the Writing of History

6 Ideology, Anti-colonialism and Marxism

Section 2 Ideology and History
7 Tradition of Sociology and Sociology of Tradition: The Terms of Our Knowledge and the Knowledge Produced

8 Beyond the Ruling Category to What Actually Happens: Notes on James Mill’s Historiography in The History of British India

9 Pygmalion Nation: Critique of Subaltern Studies’ Resolution of the Women Question

Part 2 The Making of a Subject: Gender, ‘Race’ and Class

10 Introducing Racism: Notes towards an Antiracist Feminism

11 In the Matter of X: Building ‘Race’ into Sexual Harassment

12 Attired in Virtue: Discourse on Shame [Lajja] and Clothing of the Gentlewoman [Bhadramahila] in Colonial Bengal

13 Fashioning a Self: Educational Proposals for and by Women in Popular Magazines in Colonial Bengal

14 Age of Consent and Hegemonic Social Reform

Part 3 Nation, Multiculturalism, Identity and Community

15 The Paradox of Diversity: The Construction of a Multicultural Canada and ‘Women of Colour’

16 On the Dark Side of the Nation: Politics of Multiculturalism and the State of ‘Canada’

17 A Question of Silence: Reflections on Violence against Women in Communities of Colour

18 The Passion of Naming: Identity, Difference and Politics of Class

19 Truant in Time

Part 4 Nationalism, Gender and Politics

20 Making India Hindu and Male: Cultural Nationalism and the Emergence of the Ethnic Citizen in Contemporary India

21 Writing ‘India’, Doing ‘Ideology’: William Jones’ Construction of India as an Ideological Category

22 Demography and Democracy: Reflections on Violence against Women in Genocide or Ethnic Cleansing

23 Cultural Nationalism and Woman as the Subject of the Nation

24 Patriarchy in the Era of Neoliberalism: The Case of India

Part 5 Class, Culture and Representation

25 The Mirror of Class: Class Subjectivity and Politics in Nineteenth Century Bengal

26 Language and Liberation: A Study of Political Theatre in West Bengal

27 Nation and Class in Communist Aesthetics and the Theatre of Utpal Dutt

Part 6 Decolonisation

28 Nostalgia for the Future: The Poetry of Ernesto Cardinal

29 A Transformational Pedagogy: Reflections on Rabindranath’s Project of Decolonisation

30 Beyond the Binaries: Notes on Karl Marx’s and Rabindranath Tagore’s Ideas on Human Capacities and Alienation

31 Himani Bannerji in Conversation with Somdatta Mandal

Academic libraries, public libraries, post-graduate students and undergraduate students in sociology, social history, cultural studies, critical race theory, women’s and anti-oppression studies, marxist studies, postcolonial studies, political activists.
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