Turning Theory into Practice? Student activism and prefiguration in educational spaces

Aktivitet: Tale eller præsentation - typerForedrag og mundtlige bidrag

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet

Gritt B. Nielsen - Oplægsholder

Panel 1: Reclaiming the Future: Conceptualizing a New Generation of Social Movements

The great financial crisis of 2008-2009, followed by poverty and mass protest in the Global South as well by the Occupy Wall Street protests with its international spin-offs, determine the beginning of a new phase for scholars interested in social movements, culture, and political participation. The panel draws on paper givers and interdisciplinary contributions in anthropology, cultural studies, sociology, gender studies and political science. We assume that current movements face unique characteristics and moral challenges that differentiate them from past waves of mobilizations like the alter-globalization movement and the “new social movements” of the Eighties and Nineties: Starting with the global wave of protests including the Arab Spring, Indignados and Occupy movements, current movements are not limited at confronting specific political subjects but direct their dissent towards broader themes like, for instance, growing inequalities, financial elites and the consequences of financial capitalism, and human-induced climate change. In a context of irreversible environmental disasters, wars, and rising nationalism, progressive activists and students in the Global ‘North’ currently engage in solidarity protests and cooperation with refugees and forced migrants from the South. The diversity that these movements embody in terms of North-South divisions, social class, language, gender, religion, and intersectional differences leads to new practical challenges and formats of translation, mutual learning and education during coalition work. Faced with a sense for global moral dilemmas and no time to loose, these movements blend contentious and prefigurative actions convinced that social change should be achieved not only by institutional demands onto governments and policy makers, but also by embodying the change through everyday actions, lifestyles and practices. Addressing the question of morality with a focus on prefigurative practices, the panel will present case studies of grassroots groups and movements for whom the focus on radical democracy and direct action is at the core of the agenda, including autonomous projects supporting refugees, ecological villages and radical democratic student communities, Transition towns, solidarity economy and mutual help networks embedded within broader settings of neoliberal management, mainstream volunteer movements and support by state actors and philanthrophic foundations. From an even broader, cultural perspective interested in participation and the translation potential of social movements, prefigurative practices of protest and direct action can broaden people’s understanding of what democracy looks like and of what constitutes a “political” subject able to “speak”. In theoretical terms, the panel will address the moral phenomenology of movements focusing on their prefigurative potential in the effort of re-conceptualizing not only the defining features of social movements but also, more broadly, the very characteristics of what constitutes a “political” subject and a “political” action.

28 maj 2019

Begivenhed (Konference)

TitelMovements and Morality.
AfholdelsesstedCopenhagen Business School
Grad af anerkendelseInternational begivenhed

ID: 155500672