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Radical subjects after hegemony

Pitcher, Ben (2011) Radical subjects after hegemony. Subjectivity, 4 (1). pp. 87-102. ISSN 1755-6341

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/sub.2010.26

Abstract

This article explores a contemporary problem pertaining to the progressive political projects of anti-racism, feminism, gay rights and green politics. It tackles the complex and conflicted situation whereby these once thoroughly oppositional projects now appear to occupy a hegemonic position, and suggests that this has paradoxically led to the demise of radical subject positions. I consider how progressive discourses have effectively become ‘detached’ from participatory social movements that once served as both their progenitors and guarantors, and address the problem of conceptual inertia, whereby discourses appropriated and modified by the political right and mainstream continue to signify an ‘original’ meaning, thus serving to bolster the moral legitimacy of their self-declared champions and defend them against critique. Rather than dismiss this mainstreaming as simply a betrayal, I stress that it describes a new terrain of political struggle that cannot be predicated on a nostalgia for radical subjects as we have historically tended to imagine them.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Hegemony; posthegemony; post-structuralism; multiculturalism; New Left
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:8348
Deposited On:21 Jul 2010 16:52
Last Modified:11 Apr 2011 15:08

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