Radical subjects after hegemony

Pitcher, B. 2011. Radical subjects after hegemony. Subjectivity. 4 (1), pp. 87-102.

TitleRadical subjects after hegemony
AuthorsPitcher, B.
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.

KeywordsHegemony; posthegemony; post-structuralism; multiculturalism; New Left
JournalSubjectivity
Journal citation4 (1), pp. 87-102
ISSN1755-6341
YearApr 2011
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1057/sub.2010.26
Publication dates
PublishedApr 2011

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