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Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  272 Ratings  ·  19 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)
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Oct 02, 2012 Rifhan rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 18, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it liked it
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
Jul 02, 2013 Margaret Sankey rated it really liked it
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
Dec 22, 2011 Julian Haigh rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2014 C M rated it really liked it
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
Scott's ethnographic account of peasants in Malaysia seeks to highlight the manner in which 'everyday forms of resistance' are enacted by the most dominated members of society against those they see as representing their exploitation. Key to the argument is the movement from a traditional agrarian system to one dominated by double-cropping, the use of machines, and the increased mechanization of agriculture. As this displaces the peasant population, who are unable to engage in open insurgency ag ...more
Nov 24, 2015 goddess rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
Interesting look into a different type of resistance that's not as flashy as an uprising or revolution but likely occurs more often. Scott spent nearly a year and a half in Southeast Asia observing a small village. He was interested to see how the peasantry dealt with oppression, and what sort of mechanisms they used to express their frustrations and try to instigate change. Scott is extremely thorough in his work and the reader gets a good sense of the many difficulties and interesting dynamics ...more
I was unnecessarily excited at reading about Gramsci, Marxism, Gertz etc having just finished studying them for another class. My loose grasp of hegemony made this a more interesting read than I thought it would be, but it was still too long.
Dec 23, 2015 Leonardo marked it as considering
Sobre las resistencias de los campesinos a la disciplina capitalista.

Imperio Pág.187
May 13, 2015 Tony rated it liked it
One of those seminal works that are worth reading. It proceeds at a liesurely pace, though, and starts with a narrow and local focus before working its way to generalities.
Dec 23, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 19, 2007 Nidya rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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
Dec 01, 2013 Tomas Chaigneau rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
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!
Feb 18, 2009 Gill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: academic, asia
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.

Apr 15, 2016 Maria rated it it was ok
Shelves: school
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.
Jan 01, 2011 Demosthenes rated it liked it
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
Jul 16, 2007 R. Sanyoto rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiksi
cerita2 ringan-nya menghanyutkan.. trekadang menggelikan.. kdg jadi pengin tersenyum.. ketawa.. tapi juga trenyuh..
Dec 17, 2008 Charles rated it really liked it
Shelves: academic
Didn't agree with him on Gramsci, but like the premise a lot.
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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...

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“Everyday forms of resistance make no headlines.18 Just as millions of anthozoan polyps create, willy-nilly, a coral reef, so do thousands upon thousands of individual acts of insubordination and evasion create a political or economic barrier reef of their own. There is rarely any dramatic confrontation, any moment that is particularly newsworthy. And whenever, to pursue the simile, the ship of state runs aground on such a reef, attention is typically directed to the shipwreck itself and not to the vast aggregation of petty acts that made it possible. It is only rarely that the perpetrators of these petty acts seek to call attention to themselves. Their safety lies in their anonymity. It is also extremely rarely that officials of the state wish to publicize the insubordination. To do so would be to admit that their policy is unpopular, and, above all, to expose the tenuousness of their authority in the countryside—neither of which the sovereign state finds in its interest.19 The nature of the acts themselves and the self-interested muteness of the antagonists thus conspire to create a kind of complicitous silence that all but expunges everyday forms of resistance from the historical record.” 0 likes
“which the sovereign state finds in its interest.19 The nature of the acts themselves” 0 likes
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