Making Sense of the Social Forum: On the Local Framing of a Fashionable Global Symbol
2009 (English)In: Journal of contemporary ethnography, ISSN 0891-2416, Vol. 38, no 4, 435-464 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The worldwide emergence of Social Forums (SF), originating from Porto Alegre (Brazil) in 2001, is a key element in the movement for global justice. A growing body of literature on the forums concerns its function as a transnational venue for civil society and a global symbol for resistance against neoliberalism. However, little empirical research is carried out on the local meanings of the widespread SFs. This article reports on a case study on the organizational process of a local forum in a Swedish town. The analysis focuses on intracoalitional interaction among activists from the labor movement, Attac, and a local cultural institution. The importance of considering local framing processes and the often-neglected influence of fashion when studying the emergence of SFs is emphasized. Findings show how the dichotomy the Old versus the New became crucial in the framing process. Framed as a novelty contrasted with "old" socialist values, the SF was rejected by the labor movement activists as just another expression of a contemporary neoliberal trend of depoliticization. Implications for the study of the social forum phenomenon are discussed.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications , 2009. Vol. 38, no 4, 435-464 p.
social movement organizations; social forums; framing; fashion
Social Anthropology Pedagogy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-20081DOI: 10.1177/0891241608330355OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-20081DiVA: diva2:233055
The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in:
Journal of contemporary ethnography, (38), 4, 435-464, 2009.
Henrik Nordvall, Making Sense of the Social Forum: On the Local Framing of a Fashionable Global Symbol
by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved.