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Subjects of Feminism: The Production and Practice of Anxiety in a Swedish Activist Community
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology.
2021 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Description
Abstract [en]

Anxiety is a zeitgeist of our time. The range of themes to which anxiety attaches today are truly vast, but anxiety arises and is cultivated in specific ways among different groups of people. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, in 2017 and 2018, this thesis explores the role that anxiety plays in contemporary feminist activist culture. The thesis focuses on several salient features of that culture: the cultivation of safe spaces and separatist rooms for women and nonbinary people; the place and role of male feminists in the community; how the activists translated the academic concept of intersectionality into an activist practice; and some of the creative ways in which individual feminist activists dealt with anxiety. Theories emphasizing how safety has become a primary cultural value, as well as how we have collectively unlearnt to live with uncertainty, shed light on the anxiety that proliferated in the feminist activist community I discuss. Contemporary anxiety is also partly explained by theories stressing the ways in which society has become uncertain in novel ways in the wake of neoliberalism. Among the feminist activists I came to know in Stockholm, collectively devised strategies to do good cultivated a particular social dynamic that rendered individual feminist activists anxious. How might they take personal responsibility for the revolutionary ambitions of feminism? How can they avoid excluding any potential subjects of feminism? What happens if they say or do something that upsets or offends other feminist activists? This thesis examines the relationship between collectively devised strategies to do good and the resulting production of anxiety.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi, Uppsala universitet , 2021. , p. 163
Series
Dissertations and documents in cultural anthropology : DICA, ISSN 1653-0543 ; 23
Keywords [en]
anxiety, feminism, feminists, neoliberalism, political activism, Swedish culture
National Category
Social Anthropology
Research subject
Cultural Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-430540ISBN: 978-91-506-2859-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-430540DiVA, id: diva2:1518858
Public defence
2021-03-05, Geijersalen, Engelska parken, 6-1023, Thunbergsvägen 3P, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2021-02-12 Created: 2021-01-17 Last updated: 2021-02-12

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf