Publication Date

Summer 2016

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jane Olmsted (Director), Eric Bain-Selbo, Tiara Na’puti

Degree Program

Department of Diversity & Community Studies

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Subaltern persons continue to be most negatively impacted by the hegemonic practices of institutions. Subaltern populations are the furthest removed from political agency, not only by the insecurities of their lived experiences, but also by academic and agency discourses that recreate the subaltern political citizen-subject in modes representing the “Other” through lenses of elite scholarship and high theory. The subaltern agent is not present in her own political making. The considerations of social justice require both the underpinnings of a global ethics of caring and a commitment to center the subaltern citizen subject’s account of herself as corresponding privileged record. This paper explores the marginalizing outcomes in the historiography of subaltern studies and defends both ethical cosmopolitanism and participatory democracy as modes that better respect diverse worldviews outside of neoliberal constructions. Advocacy on behalf of subaltern groups must include Community-Based Participatory Research and eco-cultural analysis that give priority to positive near stakeholder goals and outcomes for their communities. Subaltern self-representation is the needed checks and balances for 21st century policy making


Civic and Community Engagement | Community-Based Learning | Demography, Population, and Ecology | Sociology of Culture