Social movements do not appear spontaneously. They are rooted in cultures and contexts and their evolution depends both on macro structural factors and on the action and organisation of pre-existing actors. In particular, the anti-austerity protest events that characterised southern European countries in the last few years cannot be understood through a focus on them as isolated incidents. They need, instead, to be analysed as part of a cycle of protest. Furthermore, some of their components are rooted in the activity and elaboration of pre-existing actors. We contribute to this issue by analysing the role of the student movement in the lead up to the anti-austerity mobilisations in Italy and Spain. This analysis allows us to show that a relevant component of the discourse of anti-austerity mobilisation comes from a long-standing trajectory of critique of neoliberalism, and that specific actors in specific fields of action reshaped and recontextualised this heritage in the context of the economic crisis, paving the way, at least from the discursive point of view, for the emergence of anti-austerity mobilisations. Our analysis, based on qualitative interviews of Italian and Spanish activists, point outs how student activists acted as initiators of anti-austerity mobilisations and as brokers in the adaptation of the anti-neoliberal discourse in the new context, with the goal of addressing a wider audience. We stress that pre-existing political trajectories play a significant role in the development of social movements, we highlight the importance of discursive continuities of cycle of protest and we argue that this role needs to be taken into account, together with structural factors and political processes, in understanding protest. Furthermore, we aim to contribute to the study of social movement continuities and cross-temporal diffusion, pointing out the active role of movements in this process in a dialectic relationship with the structural context.

Dissenting youth: how student and youth struggles helped shape anti-austerity mobilisations in Southern Europe

ZAMPONI, LORENZO
;
2016

Abstract

Social movements do not appear spontaneously. They are rooted in cultures and contexts and their evolution depends both on macro structural factors and on the action and organisation of pre-existing actors. In particular, the anti-austerity protest events that characterised southern European countries in the last few years cannot be understood through a focus on them as isolated incidents. They need, instead, to be analysed as part of a cycle of protest. Furthermore, some of their components are rooted in the activity and elaboration of pre-existing actors. We contribute to this issue by analysing the role of the student movement in the lead up to the anti-austerity mobilisations in Italy and Spain. This analysis allows us to show that a relevant component of the discourse of anti-austerity mobilisation comes from a long-standing trajectory of critique of neoliberalism, and that specific actors in specific fields of action reshaped and recontextualised this heritage in the context of the economic crisis, paving the way, at least from the discursive point of view, for the emergence of anti-austerity mobilisations. Our analysis, based on qualitative interviews of Italian and Spanish activists, point outs how student activists acted as initiators of anti-austerity mobilisations and as brokers in the adaptation of the anti-neoliberal discourse in the new context, with the goal of addressing a wider audience. We stress that pre-existing political trajectories play a significant role in the development of social movements, we highlight the importance of discursive continuities of cycle of protest and we argue that this role needs to be taken into account, together with structural factors and political processes, in understanding protest. Furthermore, we aim to contribute to the study of social movement continuities and cross-temporal diffusion, pointing out the active role of movements in this process in a dialectic relationship with the structural context.
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/04 - Scienza Politica
Settore SPS/11 - Sociologia dei Fenomeni Politici
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
student movements; social movements; anti-austerity movements; indignados; Italy; Spain; discourse
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Dissenting youth how student and youth struggles helped shape anti austerity mobilisations in Southern Europe(1).pdf

Accesso chiuso

Tipologia: Published version
Licenza: Non pubblico
Dimensione 1.28 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.28 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia
dissenting.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Accepted version (post-print)
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 613.26 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
613.26 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/64767
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 24
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 22
social impact