Activism, anthropologically speaking

Sociocultural analyses of efforts to re-shape social worlds

Up to now, most anthropological studies of activism have used concepts and categories originally developed by specialists of other disciplines, such as the figures of ‘social movements’ or ‘non-governmental organization’. With this workshop, we seek to discuss the potential conceptual contributions of anthropology to the study of activism to highlight our discipline’s particular focus. We therefore aim to develop an anthropological framework to better understand emerging efforts to actively re-shape the world. In order to do so, the workshop looks at activist discourses and practices in the 'centres of calculation' of activism as well as with a view to the differences and intersections between this notion and a variety of others such as 'volunteering', 'humanitarianism' and 'social movements'. We understand 'activism' as being culturally informed, therefore requiring attention to contextuality, situatedness and (g)local sense-making for an anthropological analysis.

Further information and programme

Please register with: raul.acosta[at]