Radical social movements require free spaces to meet, interact, and mobilize. Free spaces, or settings where individuals create and maintain alternative ways of life, enable the creation of movement identities, frames, and cultures. Based on a long-term ethnographic study of a radical left-libertarian movement in Sweden, this article explores how free spaces are created, maintained, and changed. Adopting an interactionist approach, I demonstrate that free spaces are political accomplishments which activists pursue as political goals. The article also examines how activists repair breaches to free spaces through interactions where activists not only recommit to the shared norms of participation in the setting but also demonstrate their devotion to the movement’s values. I conclude by arguing that studying the everyday practices of free spaces enables us to better understand how radical movements survive, splinter, or disintegrate.
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ARTICLES| June 29 2023
CREATING AND MAINTAINING FREE SPACES IN THE RADICAL LEFT*
Mobilization: An International Quarterly (2023) 28 (2): 249–265.
Colm Flaherty; CREATING AND MAINTAINING FREE SPACES IN THE RADICAL LEFT. Mobilization: An International Quarterly 1 June 2023; 28 (2): 249–265. doi: https://doi.org/10.17813/1086-671X-28-2-249
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