“Who generates this city”? Socialist strategy in contemporary London

Mukherjee, Jacob. 2020. “Who generates this city”? Socialist strategy in contemporary London. British Journal of Sociology, 71(4), pp. 644-657. ISSN 0007-1315 [Article]

Mukherjee, J. (2020) “Who generates this city”_ Socialist strategy in contemporary London.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (396kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This essay, based on a “militant ethnography” of the attempts of the small radical grassroots activist group, Our London (a pseudonym), to mobilize a collective oppositional politics through activities around an election campaign, engages critically with E. Laclau and C. Mouffe's arguments on discourse and collectivity in Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (London: Verso, 1985). I argue, on the basis of my findings, that while their model does provide insights that help describe the process of building collectivity from among disparate perspectives and identities, we need to go beyond a focus on discourse alone and consider the ways politics is shaped by material contexts. This is necessary if we are to understand the continued appeal of class politics as well as the difficulties in mobilizing collectivity in highly unequal and fragmented cities. From an activist perspective, the essay also highlights how developing a conception of collective interests and a critique of overarching systems of exploitation can be important in building political unity.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



activism, discourse, London, political identities, social movements

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


5 March 2020Accepted
30 March 2020Published Online
September 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

20 Aug 2020 14:35

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2020 13:30

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)