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Relational comparison revisited

Relational comparison revisited This article revisits the idea of relational comparison that grew out of my earlier research in post-apartheid South Africa in order to put it to work in new ways. First I clarify distinctively different modalities of ‘comparison’ and their political stakes, and go on to specify how the ‘relational’ in relational comparison refers to an open, non-teleological conception of dialectics at the core of Marx’s method. I then engage with sharply polarized urban studies and subaltern studies debates cast in terms of Marxism vs. postcolonialism/poststructuralism and suggest how distinctions among comparative modalities help to reconfigure the terms of the debates. The article lays the groundwork for a larger project that focuses on understanding resurgent nationalisms, populisms, and racisms in different regions of the world in relation to one another in the era of neoliberal forms of capitalism. More broadly I suggest how relational comparison, extended to include conjunctural analysis, can be used as a method for practicing Marxist postcolonial geographies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Progress in Human Geography SAGE

Relational comparison revisited

Progress in Human Geography , Volume 42 (3): 24 – Jun 1, 2018

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References (77)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2016
ISSN
0309-1325
eISSN
1477-0288
DOI
10.1177/0309132516681388
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article revisits the idea of relational comparison that grew out of my earlier research in post-apartheid South Africa in order to put it to work in new ways. First I clarify distinctively different modalities of ‘comparison’ and their political stakes, and go on to specify how the ‘relational’ in relational comparison refers to an open, non-teleological conception of dialectics at the core of Marx’s method. I then engage with sharply polarized urban studies and subaltern studies debates cast in terms of Marxism vs. postcolonialism/poststructuralism and suggest how distinctions among comparative modalities help to reconfigure the terms of the debates. The article lays the groundwork for a larger project that focuses on understanding resurgent nationalisms, populisms, and racisms in different regions of the world in relation to one another in the era of neoliberal forms of capitalism. More broadly I suggest how relational comparison, extended to include conjunctural analysis, can be used as a method for practicing Marxist postcolonial geographies.

Journal

Progress in Human GeographySAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2018

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