Corporative Capitalism: Civil Society and the Politics of Accumulation in Small Town India

Date: Mar, 2000
ODID Working Paper No. 38
Author(s): Elisabetta Basile (La Sapienza, Rome), Barbara Harriss-White (QEH)

Using the analytical framework of social structures of accumulation, the economic politics of local urban civil-social organisations and their impact on capital, class and the business economy is examined. Although such organisations are structured through many dimensions, notably occupation, commodity, party politics, religion, gender and locality, the most prominent single category comprises caste - and closely-related, finely-defined occupational- associations. In the town's societal corporatist form of accumulation, the political, cultural and ideological hegemony of a single social group - the capitalist class - imposes itself, supported by a strong ideology based on transformations to the institution of caste. Due to the reinforcement of caste, patriarchy and the rhetoric of town unity, economic interests and ideological factors overlap in exactly the manner Gramsci thought to be the essence of civil society. Furthermore, through the caste system and through patriarchy, ideology comes to form a significant component in the local social structures of accumulation.

ODID Author(s)