Can the Subaltern Speak?. An Essay by Gayatri Spivak. Subaltern . Subaltern is that identity that has no possibility at social mobility No possibility to speak No possibility to be heard Intransability of the Subaltern’s structural position.
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Can the Subaltern Speak? An Essay by GayatriSpivak
Subaltern • Subaltern is that identity that has no possibility at social mobility • No possibility to speak • No possibility to be heard • Intransability of the Subaltern’s structuralposition
PhotographbyFazalSheikh.AjohAchot and AcholManyen, Sudaneserefugeecamp. Lokichoggio, Kenya, 1992.
Representation • Who is represented as the Subject? • Who is representable as the Subject? • Who is chosen to represent the Subaltern?
How is Speaking Subject being Produced? Brown woman oppressed as structural necessity Saving brown woman is also a structuralnecessity
Woman as a Subject • Woman remains an unthinkablefigure that needs saving, protection, an assigned identity, a set of limits, rules. • Where do the rules/norms/ideas of identity come from? • How are the rules, norms, identities POLICED?
Subaltern Identity • Accepts wretchedness as normality • Millennial cognitive damage done to subaltern • Valid institutional background can help subaltern speak
Agency • Agency is the CAPABILITY or POWER to affect a desired change. • Agency is NOT the same as Rights, Freedoms, Privileges, Advantages, Abilities. • Agency is more specific to time, place, socio-economic context. • Agency is increasingly perceived as a key goal of development.
New Subaltern Identity • Subaltern becoming permeable because of desire to “do good” or “do something” • Allow subaltern to speak and be heard • A general will to create exploitation into the subaltern, too, is present