A historian among anthropologists: Commenting on 'Politics of Archiving'

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


Dialectical Anthropology, Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011, Volume 35, Number 3, p.331–339 (2011)




My paper in Dialectical Anthropology has received three very rich commentaries by three leading social scholars working on related issues in different regions of the world. The commentaries are, in many ways, reflections on my research that earned me a doctoral degree. However, more than that, they stimulate me to bring to the fore a few significant issues related to the paper coming out of my Ph.D. dissertation. My thesis is on the labor movement and the operation of trade unions in the so-called informal sector. The unions, I have argued, are neither independent opponents nor are they compliant tools for the evicting authorities, they are the result of state authority. Their emergence coincides with their subjection. The present reflection piece gives me an opportunity to rethink my Ph.D. work after a brief lapse of about a year, which has witnessed the consolidation of a reflexive criticality on my own research. In this sense, the present piece is an archiving of my changing sensibilities.


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