Some Intellectual Genealogies for the Concept of Everyday Resistance

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Abstract

Concerns with how cultural factors influenced agrarian social change remained an abiding interest in the work of James Scott. I begin by sketching out the context of debates in Marxist theory, development studies, and social and political anthropology that, during the 1980s, turned to relations between ideas, power, and processes of conflict and change in a world of new postcolonial nations and rapid agrarian development. In the article, then, I carefully examine the ideas Scott developed about resistance and hegemony in conversation with the work of E. P. Thompson. Tracing the genealogy of Scott's ideas about hegemony and rural social protest, I comment in some detail on the literature on resistance that arose in anthropology during the 1980s and the role of Scott's Weapons of the Weak (1985) in shaping that literature while interacting with Subaltern Studies (Guha 1982–87), studies of social movements, and examinations of power in interpersonal relations.

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