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Gail Omvedt

In: The Public and the Private: Issues of Democratic Citizenship

Chapter 6: The Struggle for Social Justice and the Expansion of the Public Sphere

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The Struggle for Social Justice and the Expansion of the Public Sphere
The struggle for social justice and the expansion of the public sphere
GailOmvedt
Introduction: Defining ‘Public’

Most of the theoretical discussions of the meaning and significance of the public sphere have taken place in reference to European history. However, Partha Chatterjee (1993), among others, has insisted that qualitatively different processes have taken place in the third world. He points to the role of imperialism and national resistance as the main factor behind this. This paper, while keeping in mind the national contradiction and the relationship of ‘public’ and ‘nation,’ will examine the question of the public sphere in the context of the traditional social system of India or caste, and look at its emergence as related ...

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