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Individualization, Life Politics, and the Reformulation of Social Critique: an Analysis of the Global Justice Movement
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3886-0298
2013 (English)In: Critical Sociology, ISSN 0896-9205, E-ISSN 1569-1632, Vol. 39, no 3, 453-478 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Taking the contemporary political activism of ‘the Global Justice Movement’ as an illustrative case, this article scrutinizes some influential theoretical ideas about the consequences of ‘individualization’ for collective political action. Quite often, this process is seen as implying a new politics of individual life style – ‘life politics’ – which is associated with new social movements and claimed to have gained importance since the 1960s, on the expense of the collective ‘emancipatory politics’ being associated with ‘old social movements’ such as the Labor Movement. In the light of the article’s empirical findings, this alleged division between life politics and emancipatory politics is questioned, and it is argued that these two kinds of politics should be understood as intertwined practices. The article’s theoretically grounded analysis is based on quantitative data from a survey of participants at the fifth European Social Forum. These data are interpreted and further explored using qualitative interviews with activists.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE, 2013. Vol. 39, no 3, 453-478 p.
Keyword [en]
collective action, critical theory, identity politics, individualization, life politics, political sociology, social critique, social movements
National Category
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-16768DOI: 10.1177/0896920511431499ISI: 000209202100010ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84876430098Local ID: 1751/42/2008OAI: diva2:539364
Från apati till aktivism: Medborgerliga identiteter och reaktioner på det politiskaNationella mobiliseringsstrategier och transnationellt nätverkande: Sociala rörelser i Öst och Väst
Swedish Research CouncilThe Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies
Available from: 2012-07-03 Created: 2012-07-03 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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