Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  162 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Book annotation not available for this title...Title: .Weapons of the Weak..Author: .Scott, James C...Publisher: .Yale Univ Pr..Publication Date: .1987/09/10..Number of Pages: ...Binding Type: .PAPERBACK..Library of Congress: .85051779
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 10th 1987 by Yale University Press (first published 1985)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 533)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Scott spent two years (p. xvii) in (fictionally named),Sedaka, Malaysia collecting empirical evidence of “everyday forms of peasant resistance” for this book. While there, he observed the locals experiencing socio-cultural and economic change due to agricultural capitalism; a large-scale irrigation project and mechanization of farming in the form of double-cropping leading to a misdistribution of wealth. While productivity initially improved, as the value of land steadily increased, larger, non...more
Rowland Bismark
In The Moral Economy of the Peasant, Scott looked at the causes of peasant revolts, focusing on those in Burma and Vietnam in the early 1930s. He argued that peasant rebellions can only be understood in the light of a peasant system of values which is irrevocably linked to their subsistence requirements. In Weapons of the Weak he takes up a similar subject, this time looking at ordinary, everyday peasant resistance and the reasons open revolts are so rare. One of his main goals is to resolve emp...more
Margaret Sankey
Although this is a sociological study of one village in Malaysia in the 1970s, the tactics are equally applicable to peasants throughout human history. In this case, tensions were exacerbated by the introduction of double-cropping and combine harvesters, disrupting the traditional land use and wealth distribution of the small population. Scott is an expert at the ways in which powerless people can stall, break stuff, mislead, use social traditions (funerals, weddings, local celebrations) to extr...more
Julian Haigh
Fantastic book. Despite it being written in the first 10 years of a 'Green Revolution' in northern Malaysia (1964-80, or so) about peasants, it has a strong salience to understandings of current undercurrent behaviour and their expression in protest movements and people seeking to have their voice heard. The resistance has always been there, but the fact that it is so vocal these days does suggest a birth of a movement rather than a flash in the pan. Being a good capitalist myself, this book all...more
James C. Scott's "Weapons of the Weak" is a seminal social scientific study that focuses on "everyday forms of resistance" of peasants. Based on two years of (true) ethnographic research in a small village in Malaysia Scott criticizes both Marxist orthodoxy (of the 1970s) and the exaggerated focus on revolutions in (progressive) social science. Arguing correctly that revolutions are very rare, and successful revolutions are almost non-existent, he argues that (progressive) scholars should show m...more
This is an excellent study of how the powerless resist. Scott's position in most of his works is that peasant and worker resistance rarely occurs in the form of violence or revolution. Scott's argument hinges on a common sense position that violence erupts when other means of survival are impossible. This is also why the poor are typically more conservative than marxist theory allows for. There is more at stake when riot/revolution occurs, so accommodation in most instances is the better course...more
Contentious politics not necessarily happen in an established state, it could happen even in a small village. This book make us to understand the reason why revolution does not happen in some society. Silent non-compliance, gossip, character murder, talking in the back, offensive nicknames, somehow reflecting resistance drawing from the village life. The lesson from this book can be applied in any modern organization.
May 19, 2007 Jeremy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: members of the intelligencia
Shelves: favorites
Scott's focus is on gossip and back stabbing, but does not take place in a Middle School.

Weapons of the Weak is a ground level ethnography in a Malaysian peasant village. In addition to mounting a trenchent critique of Gramsci, he challenges the reader to rethink the tools of resistence wielded by the lower classes, as well as the impact of hidden acts of resistence on large scale changes in society.
Tomas Chaigneau
It is not what I would call an easy read, and some chapters area almost purely methodological... But the content was incredibly interesting and can cut across interests and disciplines. With hindsight however, I think I would have been content with reading the introductory and conclusion chapters!
Blows Gramsci's hegemony out of the water while conducting an interesting ethnographic study of the forms of peasant resistance. With this book, Moral Economy, and Domination and the Arts of Resistance Scott changed the way we think about resistance.

20130127 For Social Anthropology 3400 (core requirement), Winter Q 2013.

I am exquisitely uninterested in this book, but need to read it for my part in a group presentation. Le sigh.
Well-written, except for areas where the author repeats himself or goes on some sort of rant on an slightly related topic. Diverged from the main point too much.
R. Sanyoto
cerita2 ringan-nya menghanyutkan.. trekadang menggelikan.. kdg jadi pengin tersenyum.. ketawa.. tapi juga trenyuh..
Didn't agree with him on Gramsci, but like the premise a lot.
X = "anthropological" and I am not in the mood right now.
Navaretnarajah Sabesan
Navaretnarajah Sabesan marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Miquixote marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Talis marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2014
Julian Patton
Julian Patton marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2014
Shahira marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2014
Noryang marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
eclat marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Camilla Marcolino
Camilla Marcolino marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
George marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2014
Ahmed added it
Jul 13, 2014
Ziga Podgornik-jakil
Ziga Podgornik-jakil marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Tristan marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Society Against the State: Essays in Political Anthropology
  • The Anti-Politics Machine: "Development," Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho
  • Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
  • Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule
  • The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916-1935
  • Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection
  • Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World
  • States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia and China
  • The Portable Karl Marx
  • Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation
  • Capitalism and Modern Social Theory: An Analysis of the Writings of Marx, Durkheim and Max Weber
  • Black Power: The Politics of Liberation
  • Coercion, Capital and European States: Ad 990 - 1992
  • Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity
  • Making Globalization Work
  • Nations and Nationalism
  • The Other Path
  • Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing
received his bachelor's degree from Williams College and his MA and PhD (1967) from Yale. He taught at the University of Wisconsin–Madison until 1976, when he returned to Yale. Now Scott is the Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology and is Director of the Agrarian Studies Program. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has held grants from the N...more
More about James C. Scott...
Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity and Meaningful Work and Play The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia

Share This Book