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The right rules: activism, rule-making and rule-breaking II 
Ana Ivasiuc (Philipps University Marburg)
Agnes Gagyi (University of Gothenburg)
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Soumhya Venkatesan (University of Manchester)
Wednesday 23 June, 14:00-15:45 (UTC+3)

Short Abstract:

Our panel interrogates the moralities of social movements' claims and actions for change. Which rules are worth breaking and (re)making for different social movements, and how does the examination of their moral positioning contribute to a political moral anthropology of the contemporary crisis?

Long Abstract

Themselves products of a crisis of the social world, social movements call for breaking or remaking social rules according to particular visions of the past, present, and dreaded or envisaged futures. As collective action, activism does not only propose new rules of being together: it is also forged through their ongoing negotiation. While recently scholars have argued that moral anthropology has been so far a sort of anti-politics machine (Kapferer and Gold 2018), we conceive of the making of morals in social movements as the tissue of change being built in the middle of social crisis. In a moment where the ethics of being together in the greatest historical crisis of humankind is becoming a most burning open question, we invite a discussion on how ethnographic accounts of concrete social movements' negotiations of transgressions, change and enforcement of rules can inform our orientation within the crisis.

We seek ethnographic accounts about the making and breaking of rules in contemporary social movements of all kinds - progressive or regressive. In analyzing the negotiations that various social movements stimulate around social rules, we aim to get at how the morality that these movements uphold is shaped historically, and how that morality - explicit and implicit rules and ideas about right and wrong, just and unjust, legitimate and illegitimate - informs movements' own capacity and trajectories.

Accepted papers: