Accepted paper:

We are all (pre)Occupied


James Oliver (Monash University)

Paper short abstract:

A contemporary and historical ethnographic perspective on uncertainty and reflexivity, connecting analysis of mass movements of participation with performativity and Turner's concept of 'social drama'. His discussion of Erlebnis/Experience, is a key analytical tool for reflexivity and performance.

Paper long abstract:

The civic hearts of our towns (and nations) have historically centred on institutions and their related practices, artisanal and political; and the dynamic of contemporary civil society and creativity is still relational with its institutional practices, performances and preoccupations. Uncertainty and inequality within the dynamic of social relations are central to the local experience, acts and articulations of change, such as in the 19th C. with the Luddite and Chartist movements, land agitation and peasant propriety, and a shift towards a labour movement. Drawing on the themes of uncertainty and reflexivity, extended to themes of institutional precarity, this paper reflects on contemporary crises of social relations, within historical perspective, such as the Occupy movement. 'We are all Occupied', and in different ways, pre-occupied. In particular, the focus will consider Victor Turner's concept of 'social drama' in terms of institutionalized practices and the social role of the University, such as through research practice, and also as a performative space for reflexivity. Furthermore, Turner's legacy is extended to his discussion of Erlebnis/Experience as a key analytical tool.

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Uncertainty and reflexivity: the legacy of Victor Turner