The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity

The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity

Max Haiven

Language: English

Pages: 280

ISBN: 1780329016

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The idea of the imagination is as evocative as it is elusive. Not only does the imagination allow us to project ourselves beyond our physical and temporal limits, it also allows us to envision the future, individually and collectively. The radical imagination, then, is that spark of difference, desire, and discontent that can be fanned into the flames of social change. Yet what precisely is the imagination and what might make it 'radical'? How can it be fostered and cultivated? How can it be studied and what are the possibilities and risks of doing so?

This book seeks to answer these questions at a crucial time. As we enter into a new cycle of struggles scholar-activists Khasnabish and Haiven explore the processes and possibilities for cultivating the radical imagination in dark times.

A lively, accessible and timely intervention that breaks new ground in speaking to radical politics, social research, social change, and the collective visions that inspire them.

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have been revolutionized so that some sections of the people are not exploited for the benefit of other sections of the people’ (1986: 198). In confronting one contradiction (capitalist exploitation) identified as ‘primary’ the national liberation struggle in a Marxist–Leninist mode thus ends up reproducing and entrenching other oppressions. As we saw in Chapter 3, the Marxist-feminist approach to reproduction, developed by Mies and others, is extremely useful for the analysis of social

more than a decade later provoked by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s (2000) theorization of Empire and the multitude, Sivanandan asserts that this ‘class war’ was provoked both by the collapse of actually existing state socialism and the ‘receding prospect of capturing state power in late capitalist societies where such power was becoming increasingly diffuse and opaque’ (1990: 77). The result of this conflicted search for the new subject of revolution, argues Sivanandan, led to ‘a variant of

their supporters would make a day-long symbolic return to Grand Parade a week after the Remembrance Day eviction and publicly denounce the perceived duplicity of city officials and the violence of the Halifax police force, the occupation was, to all intents and purposes, over. The Remembrance Day eviction of Occupy NS and the events leading up to it shed critical light on the imagination– strategy–tactics triad that we’ve explored here. The tactic of occupation and its material manifestation

the abstract, asking questions of individuals and groups that sought to elicit how they linked imagination to strategy to tactics within their movements and milieus. As we have indicated, only rarely were any research participants able to articulate these links clearly, with many advancing a whole range of ideas and opinions only loosely connected to these categories. But one of the consistently positive responses we received from our participants, as we indicated in Chapter 2, was the

the Golden Age. Boston MA: Beacon Press. ———. 2007. The Slave Ship: A Human History. New York: Viking. Reinsborough, Patrick. 2010. ‘Giant Whispers: Narrative Power, Radical Imagination and a Future Worth Fighting for’. Affinities: A Journal of Radical Theory, Culture, and Action 4 (2): 67–78. Roggero, Gigi. 2011. The Production of Living Knowledge: The Crisis of the University and the Transformation of Labor in Europe and North America. Trans. Enda Brophy. Philadelphia PA: Temple University

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