Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism (Contemporary Anarchist Studies)

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9781441188663: Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism (Contemporary Anarchist Studies)
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Attempts by people to enact their political beliefs in their daily lives have become commonplace in contemporary US culture, in spheres ranging from shopping habits to romantic attachments. This groundbreaking book examines how collective social movements have cultivated individual practices of "lifestyle politics" as part of their strategies of resistance, and the tensions they must navigate in doing so.

Drawing on feminism and other movements that claim that "the personal is political," the book explores how radical anarchist activists position their own lifestyles within projects of resistance. Various lifestyle practices, from consumption to personal style to sexual relationships, are studied to address how identity and cultural practices can be used as tools of political dissent.

An accessible and provocative text, Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism blends theory with empirical materials to highlight issues that are important not only to anarchists, but also to anyone struggling for social change. This unique analysis will contribute to the development of anarchist theory and practice and will appeal to anyone interested in political activism and social movements.

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About the Author:

Laura Portwood-Stacer is Visiting Assistant Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, US. Her research on identity, consumption, and political resistance has appeared in Feminist Theory, Sexualities, Journal of Consumer Culture, and New Media & Society.

Review:

Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism provides a lucid, concise, and thoughtful depiction and analysis of a widely misrepresented segment of contemporary anarchism, and also offers important insights on cultural politics more generally. Useful for scholars, students, and activists alike. -- T.V. Reed, author of The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle, and manager/editor of the web matrix, culturalpolitics.net More than a mere account of 'lifestyle activism' in the current US Anarchist movement, Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism is a meditation on the possibilities and limitations of a politics of individual choice and expression. In this grounded study, Portwood-Stacer deftly explores the largely unmapped territory between intent and effect, identity and agency, and the personal and the political. The result is an essential guide for anyone who wants to understand activism in a time of Neo-Liberalism. -- Stephen Duncombe, Associate Professor at the Gallatin School and the Department of Media, Culture and Communications, New York University, US, and author of The Cultural Resistance Reader

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