Chapter

Situating the State, Society, and Artisans in Early Modern Marwar

Nandita Prasad Sahai

in Politics of Patronage and Protest

Published in print June 2006 | ISBN: 9780195678963
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081660 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678963.003.0001
Situating the State, Society, and Artisans in Early Modern Marwar

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This chapter concentrates on the varied implications of caste ordering in India. Elitist discourses on state formation have highlighted upper and middle-level politics, refusing to recognize the relevance of lower subordinate groups to politics and statecraft. If these groups were mentioned at all in histories, it was only to estimate the potentialities of capitalistic development in Mughal India, and to evaluate craft production in relation to mercantile capital. Research in the last two decades—especially after the initiation of the Subaltern Studies—has seen the emergence of a new labour history that explores the dynamics of power relationships between labour and its employers as embedded in culture. Building on this basic theoretical premise, the author defines issues such as collaboration, resistance, and protest to show the ambiguous position of artisans with reference to the state and its dominant castes.

Keywords: caste; state formation; subordinate groups; resistance; incorporative strategies; subaltern; Subaltern Studies; mercantile capital

Chapter.  22616 words. 

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