Building counter culture: the radical praxis of social movement milieux
Cox, Laurence (2011) Building counter culture: the radical praxis of social movement milieux. Into-ebooks (http://into-ebooks.com), Helsinki.
This thesis falls into two parts. The first (chapters one to three) states the problematic of the research, develops a critique of the dominant “social movements” literature as unhelpful for understanding the counter culture and argues that the latter can more effectively be theorised in terms of the implicit theory of social movement found within agency-oriented Western Marxism and socialist feminism. This latter theory is developed as an understanding of movement as direction, developing from the local rationalities of everyday life through articulated but partial campaigns to a “movement project” which attempts to deploy such local rationalities to restructure the social whole. Within these terms, it argues for an understanding of counter culture as a movement project from below within disorganised capitalism. This mode of analysis is seen as that of a historical sociology geared to the production of open concepts which can be used by participants to theorise the context of their own choices. The second part (chapters four to eight) theorises the issues involved in researching social movements within this perspective, entailing the need to engage with tacit knowledge, to thematise conflicts and collusion between researcher and participants. The findings chapters use qualitative interviews from a Dublin movement milieu to develop an analysis, grounded in participation, of the local rationalities of the counter culture. In this section the key findings are a rationality of autonomy as self-development, which is shown to underlie processes of distancing and problems of commitment, and a rationality of radicalised reflexivity, which resolves the problem of institutionalisation through the deployment of a wide range of “techniques of the self”. The analysis attempts to locate this reading within the life-histories of participants but also within the historical development of the counter culture, examplifying the ability of the concepts developed in this thesis to engage with the problems facing participants.
Repository Staff Only: item control page