- 国立民族学博物館研究報告 = Bulletin of the National Museum of Ethnology (ISSN:0385180X)
- vol.33, no.3, pp.329-358, 2009-02-27
This article discusses the relationships between Subaltern Studies andSouth Asian anthropology. After surveying the mutual influences between thetwo, the article argues the following: 1) the field of historical anthropologythat pays attention to the history and structure of workings of power, subjectformationand the role of agency, has the potentiality of fruitfully combininganthropological knowledge and inspirations from Subaltern Studies; 2) thereis a need to pay attention to the role of cultural re-imagination by the subalternsin the contemporary process of political group formation; 3) in additionto understanding the social structure and/or moments of change representedby revolts, it is necessary to consider the dynamics of social “becoming”, thatis, the process of transformation of social relationships and patterns throughevery day events. Lastly, the article argues that care should be taken to notethe change in the semantics of the term ‘subaltern’ under the present day globalization.Attempts to locate the presence of the ‘subaltern’ in the present situationcan function to identify a group as a holder of particular resources—e.g. genetic resources or medicinal knowledge—instead of shedding light onalternative viewpoints. This would only work to enrol the subalterns in globalcapitalism instead of appreciating and respecting their way of life. We need tobe extremely careful about studying the subaltern under such conditions.