Refusing What We Are: Communicating Counter-Identities and Prefiguring Social Change in Social Movements

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Abstract

Protests by a range of new social movements have been studied extensively, but few studies have focused on the communicative practices and mediated actions in which new identities and forms of subjectivity are discursively produced. This chapter investigates what Michel Foucault called ‘counter-conducts’, practices in which alternative modes of being governed are performed. By questioning the conduct of their conduct, participants simultaneously question the relationship of the self to itself, playing with and risking identity in the process. The case study scrutinises video recordings of the “United Nathans weapons inspectors” protest theatre event that took place in 2003. Using Ethnomethodological Conversation Analysis (EMCA), the chapter examines how ‘counter-identities’ are achieved and made accountable in the interactional practices of the prefigurative protest event. This approach helps document the ways in which fields of visibility and modes of rationality are sequentially and categorially organised in the contingent accomplishment of counter-identities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIdentity Revisited and Reimagined : Empirical and Theoretical Contributions on Embodied Communication Across Time and Space
EditorsSangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Aase Lyngvær Hansen, Julie Feilberg
Number of pages22
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
PublisherSpringer
Publication date7 Jul 2017
Pages41-63
ISBN (Print) 9783319580555
ISBN (Electronic)9783319580562
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Identity
  • Discourse
  • conversation analysis
  • Protest
  • performance
  • Social change
  • Governmentality

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  • Cite this

    Mcilvenny, P. B. (2017). Refusing What We Are: Communicating Counter-Identities and Prefiguring Social Change in Social Movements. In S. Bagga-Gupta, A. L. Hansen, & J. Feilberg (Eds.), Identity Revisited and Reimagined: Empirical and Theoretical Contributions on Embodied Communication Across Time and Space (pp. 41-63). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-58056-2_3