The panel explores the expression of agency in its various forms in the everyday lives of groups who have been accorded a marginalized position in the mainstream narrative of South Asia.
At the backdrop of several socio-political as well as economic changes taking place in South Asia marginalized groups have come into focus of research. While much has been written about the processes through which the 'economically insignificant' becomes marginalized, scant attention has been paid to the ways in which these apparently subordinate groups articulate emancipatory imaginaries and oppositional projects. This agency cannot always be usefully understood on a spectacular sense. Rather it has to be made sense of in everyday lives of the people, in their personal and mundane decision making, in their negotiation with the institutions and structures of dominance. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in different parts of South Asia and spanning a range of conceptual orientations, this panel explores how agency is expressed in various ways both active and subtle, by the apparently subordinated.