Accepted Paper:

Knowledge and politics: overcoming uncertainty and disquiet from youth social movements  

Author:

Cédric Masse (Research Centre on Political Action - University of Lausanne)

Paper short abstract:

We shall see in this paper the relationships between the formation of knowledge - notably the role of anthropology - and social actions within youth social movements from an ethnography carried out in the Portuguese context that remains marked by the Carnation Revolution.

Paper long abstract:

The "uncertainty" and "disquiet" conceptual dyad explains in an important way the phenomenon of youth social movements.

Notwithstanding, these feelings are often managed and overcome by ideal and material actions that emerge within movements and that can be subsumed under the notion of alter-politics. By ideal actions, movements' actors, inspired by philosophical and scientific theories - notably anthropology -, produce knowledge which question the current reality, identify its causes and build their identities. Similarly, activists generate axiological and normative collective beliefs, which define in a teleological way the future such as it must be. They think about themselves, that is, on who they are, where they come from and on who they should be. They follow a temporality in which the past (the memory of their social origins and of significant historical facts), the present (their current life) and, more significantly, the becoming (projections of invented and desired selves that can become possible and be concretised within forthcoming projects and actions) are intellectually and emotionally reworked but not necessarily in a linear way. By material actions, movements are public spheres, areas of life-world open to the (in)formation, communication and debates on public issues, notably via assemblies. Both ideal and material actions entail an intensive cognitive praxis.

Thus, we shall see in this paper more in detail the relationships between the formation of knowledge - notably the role of anthropology - and social actions within youth movements from an ethnography carried out in the Portuguese context that remains marked by the Carnation Revolution.

Panel W059
Political ruptures and political subjectivities: how do young generations make sense of their world in a context of uncertainty?