Narrative Representations of Protests: Bengali Middle Class Response to Globalization

Saheli Roychowdhury


Enduring mass organizations engaged in protracted collective action tend to create detailed narrative accounts of their interventions. In case the leadership and the followers are literate, the narrative accounts are printed, circulated and re-circulated to constitute and invigorate such organizations. These enable the leadership to convince their members, particularly the new cohorts, about the quality of their leadership. It could also be by way of sustaining their self-belief. The narrative accounts analysed here were not merely serial listing of protests against contemporary globalization driven by their apprehensions about the many adverse consequences of this transformation on their conditions of work. It was also about the issues which generated a wide range of collective action, and about how the employees were motivated into sustained collective action. The narrative style was constituted by the critical anti-globalization discourse. This is brought out through an analysis of such narratives of collective action against contemporary globalization by a segment of unionized middle class white collar state employees in West Bengal between 1990 and 2004. During this period, the neo-liberal shift of the Indian state had firmed up. The employees’ association is the Co-ordination Committee. The narratives are gleaned from its mouthpiece journal ‘Sangrami Hatiyar’.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 India License.