Monday, April 2, 2012

Potentials and Pitfalls of Symbolic and Aesthetic Practices


1.) How do Dutta’s overview of performing for social change and Drake’s in-depth discussion of her involvement in the sustainable food movement allow us to understand the significance of the symbolic and aesthetic dimensions of resistance, mobilization, and social change? How are the contours of agency (for all persons and parties involved) defined through such symbolic and aesthetic practices? What are the dialectical tensions and dialogical possibilities between aesthetic/symbolic practices and political-economic structures?

2.)  Considerable attention in these chapters is paid to the role of the scholar in communicating for (and against) social change. What are the potential pitfalls of academic intervention in movements for change? How do the authors reconcile these potential dangers and justify spaces for the expert scholar? What do these points tell us about reflexivity or the position of the scholar either in research and/or activism roles?

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