Is the homo in homocapitalism the caste in caste capitalism and the racial in racial capitalism?

Rahul Rao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article attempts to think through the relationship between homocapitalism, racial capitalism, and caste capitalism. It conceptualizes homocapitalism as immanent within the assemblage of homonationalism but also as becoming partially disembedded from it as a result of the shift in conjuncture from the “war on terror” to the “global financial crisis.” Having made a case for the partial autonomy of homocapitalism from homonationalism, the article explores the relationship between homocapitalism, racial capitalism, and the emergent theoretical conceptualization of caste capitalism. The author demonstrates how the central analytical insight of racial and caste capitalism—namely, that capitalism mobilizes precapitalist social hierarchies as a means of furthering accumulation—throws open the field for a range of ideological approaches that seek emancipation from racial and caste oppression through varying relationships with capitalism. This allows the author to make a crucial distinction between analytics and ideologies, a distinction that has been unhelpfully blurred in discussions of homocapitalism. As ideology, homocapitalism intensifies and derives some of its purchase from its affinities with discourses of liberatory capitalism such as Black capitalism and Dalit capitalism. As analytic, homocapitalism illuminates the fractioning of queerness in terms of its potential (ability, willingness) to contribute to production and social reproduction. Central to the comparison around which this article is structured is the illumination of racialization as a technology for the extraction and attribution of value that operates across racial capitalism, caste capitalism, and homocapitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79–103
Number of pages25
JournalSouth Atlantic Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Homocapitalism
  • Homonationalism
  • Caste capitalism
  • Racial capitalism


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