Quotation Deflorian, Michael. 2020. Refigurative Politics: Understanding the Volatile Participation of Critical Creatives in Community Gardens, Repair Cafés and Clothing Swaps. Social Movement Studies. 1-18.




Collective alternative everyday practices (CAEPs), such as community gardens, clothing swaps or repair cafés, have become a prominent sight in the critical-creative milieus. So far, CAEPs have been mostly conceptualized in terms of prefigurative politics, i.e. as the strategy to change society through an everyday conduct that fully reflects idealized notions of the Self and society. However, there is increasing evidence of practitioners who engage in rather irregular, spontaneous ways and remain bound to an unsustainable consumer lifestyle. Scholars have identified such volatile participation as a problem for mobilization, but have not answered a) how the lack of continuous embodiment can be understood from a social movement perspective, and b) what the political quality of this behaviour might be. In this article, I address these research questions by drawing on theories of the late-modern subject and existing qualitative studies. Late-Modern Subject Theory assumes that individuals increasingly construct themselves through the market and in a multi-faceted way, due to processes such as commercialization, flexibilization and acceleration. From that perspective, volatile participants attempt to mobilize an idealized Self but are unable to do so persistently, due to the structural constraints (such as lack of time resources) and personal liberties (such as excess of consumer options) that define everyday life in late-modern society. The result are figurations of utopia that are bound to fail, but repeated ever again. These ‘refigurations’ maintain a political element through conveying a critique of and an alternative to the status quo, if only for a moment.


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Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Social Movement Studies
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Refigurative Politics: Understanding the Volatile Participation of Critical Creatives in Community Gardens, Repair Cafés and Clothing Swaps
Year 2020
Page from 1
Page to 18
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14742837.2020.1773250?scroll=top&needAccess=true
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14742837.2020.1773250
Open Access Y
Open Access Link https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14742837.2020.1773250?needAccess=true#aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cudGFuZGZvbmxpbmUuY29tL2RvaS9wZGYvMTAuMTA4MC8xNDc0Mjgz


Deflorian, Michael (Former researcher)
Institute for Social Change and Sustainability IN (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5118 Political science (Details)
5425 Environmental sociology (Details)
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