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Staging "small, small incidents"

Dissent, gender, and militarization among young people in Kashmir

Thomas van der Molen and Ellen Bal

In this article, we reflect on the gendered contours of young Kashmiris’ dissident practices against the Indian military occupation of the Kashmir Valley. It is largely based on ethnographic research that coincided with the launch of an ongoing, predominantly nonviolent people’s movement in which youth have played a prominent role. The article shows how university students’ and young professionals’ “small activism” is entangled in the gendered dynamics of militarization and dissent, while underlining the threat posed by “security forces” to women’s “honor” and “dignity.” In the context of widespread societal anxiety about “dishonor,” young Kashmiris’ urge to reclaim dignity at once motivates them to practice dissent and narrows the scope for female dissidents’ capacity to act upon this drive overtly. The present case suggests that recent anthropological interest in global youth cultural practices may be supplemented with a recognition of local constraints on young people’s public opposition that arise in circumstances of (gendered) state oppression.

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Jeroen P. van der Sluijs

Uncertainty complexity and dissent make climate change hard to tackle with normal scientific procedures. In a post-normal perspective the normal science task of "getting the facts right" is still regarded as necessary but no longer as fully feasible nor as sufficient to interface science and policy. It needs to be complemented with a task of exploring the relevance of deep uncertainty and ignorance that limit our ability to establish objective, reliable, and valid facts. This article explores the implications of this notion for the climate science policy interface. According to its political configuration the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adopted a "speaking consensus to power" approach that sees uncertainty and dissent as a problematic lack of unequivocalness (multiple contradictory truths that need to be mediated into a consensus). This approach can be distinguished from two other interface strategies: the "speaking truth to power approach," seeing uncertainties as a temporary lack of perfection in the knowledge (truth with error bars) and the "working deliberatively within imperfections" approach, accepting uncertainty and scientific dissent as facts of life (irreducible ignorance) of which the policy relevance needs be explored explicitly. The article recommends more openness for dissent and explicit reflection on ignorance in IPCC process and reporting.

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Mark L. Solomon

In this deeply personal article, Mark Solomon explores the universal dichotomy between group solidarity and individual dissent by reflecting on two formative experiences of his own life. The first was his inspiring teenage encounter with Lubavitch Hasidism and his revulsion at its extreme, particularistic views about Jewish souls, which led to a loss of faith in Judaism and a four-year spiritual struggle over whether to convert to Christianity. Later, as an Orthodox rabbi, he had to deal with a growing awareness of being gay and the need to come out, once again leaving the solidarity of the traditional Jewish family structure for a dissenting way of life. Individual dissent can create a new sense of community and bring with it a solidarity among outsiders. The challenges of belonging and personal freedom are part of the perpetual rhythm of life and can be a source of growth and energy.

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Mary Evans

In debates about the admission of state school pupils to Oxbridge various individuals within those institutions have challenged the idea that universities should be vehicles of social change. At the same time, Oxbridge and other universities have accepted the responsibility of 'enabling' entrepreneurship and other market-led initiatives. I want to explore some of the implications of this position in terms of the making of the person in higher education and in particular the ways in which conservative refusals of the recognition of class, gender and race differences reinforce wider structural inequalities.

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Lessons in Becoming Undutiful

Divergent Daughters of Dissent

Samara Ragaven

Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Sönderbäck (eds.) 2012. Undutiful Daughters: New Directions in Feminist Thought and Practice. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Unreasonable rage, disobedient dissent

The social construction of student activists and the limits of student engagement

Jessica Gagnon

This article explores the limits of student engagement in higher education in the United Kingdom through the social construction of student activists within media discourses. It scrutinises the impact of dominant neoliberal discourses on the notion of student engagement, constructing certain students as legitimately engaged whilst infantilising and criminalising those who participate in protest. Exploring media coverage of and commentary on students engaged in activism, from the 2010 protests against university fee increases and from more recent activism in 2016, the article draws upon Sara Ahmed’s (2014) Willful Subjects and Imogen Tyler’s (2013) Revolting Subjects to examine critically the ways in which some powerful discourses control and limit which activities, practices and voices can be recognised as legitimate forms of student engagement.

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Affinities with the 'Old' Continent or the 'Fatherland'

Assent and Dissent in U.S. Culture, 1830-1940

Waldemar Zacharasiewicz

Travel accounts invariably juxtapose the country visited, the cultural practices of its inhabitants and its sites and institutions with the corresponding phenomena in the country of origin. This frequently gives rise to, or reflects, ethical dilemmas since the process of cross-cultural representation involved naturally prompts an assessment of the cultural assets and the liabilities of the country of origin. The following article concerns itself with American accounts of travels to the ‘Old World’, especially to Germany and other parts of Central Europe, with reflections on United States society as a result of the encounter with the ‘Fatherland’ or certain aspects of other national cultures in Europe. This article sheds light on the significance of Germany to American travellers and its importance for the cultural debate in the United States. It examines the increasing attention paid to Germany because of its rise to a cultural centre in Europe. It also takes into consideration the ever growing number of immigrants to the United States from Germany and deals with the complex differentiation between German-speaking people. It further notes the awareness of American observers of the denominational divide between predominantly Protestant northern Germany and its Catholic south, which until the Great War included the German-speaking parts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The various subregions of Germany elicited different reactions from the visitors depending on their own religion and cultural background. The study also pays special attention to American travellers from the Southern States, whose well-documented reactions to their European journeys deserve special consideration as they have been less frequently analyzed than those of their Northern compatriots.

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Lasse Thomassen

South Africa’s Insurgent Citizens: On Dissent and the Possibility of Politics, by Julian Brown. London: Zed Books, 2015. ISBN 9781783602971.

Freedom Is Power: Liberty through Political Representation, by Lawrence Hamilton. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. ISBN 9781107660342.

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Bart Beaty, Marc Singer and Erin McGlothlin

Christophe Dony, Tanguy Habrand and Gert Meesters, La Bande dessinée en dissidence/Comics in Dissent

Hillary Chute and Patrick Jagoda, eds., 'Comics & Media': Special issue of Critical Inquiry 40(3) (Spring 2014)

Jan Baetens and Hugo Frey, The Graphic Novel: An Introduction

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Nicholas Toloudis

Most studies of the social and political upheavals of the Second Republic treat violence as the main way people resisted the military coup and repression of 1851 and view political dissent through the lens of class. But the suppression of unorthodox political voices in the academy brings another form of resistance to light. Close personal networks and the organizational culture of the French academy distinguished the universitaires' animosity toward Louis Napoleon. To map the patterns of teachers' dissent, I use the proceedings of the Carnot Commission, an organ created by the emergency government of 1870 to gather information about the universitaires who had suffered political persecution around the time of the 1851 coup and offer them restitution. The Commission's work reveals a pattern of personal connections and distaste for authoritarianism that reflected the republican consensus as it emerged in the 1870s.