Subalterns, empowerment and the failed imagination of markets

Apoorv Khare, Rohit Varman

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    In our earlier paper, we drew upon Franz Kafka’s literary writings to attend to the repressive sides of the State and markets and their impact on subaltern positions. Moreover, we pointed to some of the key limitations in the theories of the base of the pyramid and subsistence marketplace. In this paper, responding to the commentaries, we clarify some doubts, provide correctives to misinterpretations and further develop the broad theoretical argument we made in our earlier paper. In response to Viswanathan’s commentary, we specifically clarify the role of neoliberal ideology as it impels discourse of subsistence markets. Moreover, as a corrective to Karnani’s reading, we explain the limitations of the State, markets and private enterprises in alleviating poverty in India. Through these clarifications, we ask scholars to attend to systemic features of the current political economy that create poverty and call for an imagination beyond the current capitalist zeitgeist to empower the subaltern.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1593-1602
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Marketing Management
    Issue number17-18
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017


    • Base of the pyramid
    • ideology
    • neoliberalism
    • poverty
    • subaltern
    • subsistence marketplaces

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Strategy and Management
    • Marketing


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