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This chapter returns to Spivak’s question: Can the subaltern speak? It brings together the three concepts of subalternity, intellectuals and common sense, arguing that together they provide a flexible yet structured approach to the problem of the relationship between the experience of inequality and the political narratives that emerge from it. Subaltern conceptions of the world and their collective common sense are inherently fragmentary and incoherent, leaving little trace in the official record. Nonetheless, traces can be found in folklore, serial novels and other forms of popular culture, and in language itself. The notebooks urge progressive activists to search this...

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