From afar, from within

Himani Bannerji teaches sociology at York University in Canada. A recipient of the Rabindra Memorial Prize, she is a frequent visitor to India (particularly during the cold Canadian winters!). She works in the areas of Marxist, feminist and anti-racist theory and is especially focused on reading colonial discourse through Karl Marx's concept of ideology, and putting together a reflexive analysis of gender, race and class. [Wikipedia]

Her new book  Demography and Democracy: Essays on Nationalism, Gender and Ideology is brought to South Asia by Orient Blackswan.

Demography and Democracy deals with different aspects of hegemony, nationalism, criteria for citizenship and democracy. In the process this book examines complexities of civil society involving culture, class, politics and the relations between civil society and the state. Nationalism in plural terms, decolonisation, as well as analysis of ideology, including contemporary political ideologies, are the overarching themes of this book. The author explores the complexities of modern-day nationalisms from the perspective of marxist anti-colonial feminism. Focusing on ethnic nationalism and the racialised nature of imperialism of our time, the volume draws on examples from India, Israel, United States and its allies. Cultural political identities of the Hindu right, Zionism and other religious fundamentalisms are discussed in detail.

The author explores the connections between ideology and politics across regional national spaces. She shows the overlapping features between Hindutva in India and Zionism in Israel. This involves an examination of the constitution of cultural/ethnic identities in terms of the construction of the self and ‘the other’. The essays also carry on a sustained analysis of how patriarchy provides a taken-for-granted mediation through which the self and ‘other’ relationships are constituted.

The volume will be useful to students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies and history, as well as those interested in contemporary South Asia.

In our Gender Studies, Politics sections, in hardcover, 284 pages, Rs 595. ISBN: 9788125042921