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Living Against AusterityA Feminist Investigation of Doing Activism and Being Activist$
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Emma Craddock

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529205701

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529205701.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

A Critical Review of Social Movement Theory: Gender and Emotion in Activist Cultures

A Critical Review of Social Movement Theory: Gender and Emotion in Activist Cultures

(p.21) 2 A Critical Review of Social Movement Theory: Gender and Emotion in Activist Cultures
Living Against Austerity

Emma Craddock

Policy Press

This chapter sets up the theoretical context of the book. It begins by establishing the key relevant debates in Social Movement Theory (SMT), including that of new versus old social movements, the influence of new media technologies on social movements and the role of emotions within social movement studies. This chapter identifies the theoretical perspective for studying activist culture, drawing on Bourdieu’s (1992) theory of practice. This will serve as the basis for developing an analysis of the affective and cultural dimensions of social movement activism. It is contended that this approach enables the development of in-depth ‘thick description’ (Geertz, 1973) and an understanding of the interactions between activists as well as between the activist field and the wider social and political context, which is a theme threaded throughout the book. The chapter highlights feminist critiques of mainstream (or ‘malestream’) SMT’s failure to recognise the importance of gender to theorising social movements. This is contextualised by a wider discussion about the gendered exclusions that exist within the public sphere.

Keywords:   Social Movement Theory, Bourdieu, Activist culture, Gender, Feminist

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