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Is the Personal beyond Private and Public?

Is the Personal beyond Private and Public?
New Perspectives in Social Theory and Practice

  • Arnab Chatterjee - Associate Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Law, Auro University, Surat, Gujarat

March 2018 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

Is everything personal also private? The modern world is neatly compartmentalized into the private and the public, and the personal is often used interchangeably with the private as if they are the same. But are they? The book starts a new discourse by distinguishing the two and analyzing existing discourses of history, culture, politics, ethics, and law, asserts that the underlying theory is vastly different, often antagonistic. It radically changes the notions of the public, private, and personal by introducing the public–private–personal “triad,” challenging the modern binary of the public and private. This original and insightful book will provoke readers to rethink their use of the personal and the private as two different notions for the same thing. 

Part One: Recovering the Personal in Politics, Ethics, Culture, Law, History, and Theory
Personal in the Public Sphere: The Politics of Modernity
Gandhi and the Ethics of the Personal: Is Personal the Terroristic Unity of Private and Public?
Universal and Cultural Histories of the Personal
Toward a Theory of the (New) Personal
Part Two: Engaging the Personal: Modernity, Legality, and the Practice of Helping
Personal in Colonial and Postcolonial Modernity: From Natural Personality to Personality of Organizations
The Personal in Practice: Charity, Altruism to Social Work
Epilogue: Personal Is Not Private: Rewriting Modernity for the Last Time

In this book, Arnab Chatterjee attempts the difficult task of describing the place of the personal in the public/private divide that is supposed to form the basis of modern institutions in Indian society. His methods are both phenomenological and historical. Of particular interest is his treatment of the little-known works of Indian Hegelians such as Brajendranath Seal and Hiralal Haldar. This book promises to draw the attention of scholars of everyday practices in modern Indian life.

Partha Chatterjee,
Professor of Anthropology Columbia University

The book is very engaging. 

Dipesh Chakrabarty,
Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History, The University of Chicago

This book crosses the boundaries of philosophy and social theory in very interesting ways and is a great contribution to the development of the ideas of discourse, criticism, and subjectivity

Veena Das,
Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University

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ISBN: 9789352805204