In 2006, Mexican President Felipe Calderón started a “war” against criminal groups that led to the murder and disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people. In response, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity was formed by the victims’ relatives and allied activists in 2011, giving rise to various forms of political contention to demand justice and halt the so-called war. I analyze the biographical outcomes of this type of involvement in social movements. My argument is that the participants’ lives have been affected in three main ways: a reconfiguration of their sociability networks, the development of know-how and expertise, and a renegotiation of their worldviews that has turned political contention into a crucial feature of self. Following recent calls, this research provides evidence to deepen our theoretical and empirical understanding of the effects of socialization within and by social movements and of the consolidation of biographical outcomes through cognitive-relational processes.

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