Practices of Local Social Forums: The Building of Tactical and Cultural Collective Action Repertoires
Series/Report no.Research in Social Movements, conflict and change;Vol. 36
Since the first edition of the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2001, similar initiatives have flourished at the local scales. In the existing literature, local social forums are generally considered to be a natural replication of the world social forums. Beyond the label “social forums,” what do the practices of local social forums specifically entail and what is the meaning of these practices for local activists?I propose a comparison of eight cases situated in two distinct societies (Quebec and France). I use a multi-approach methodology, combining direct observation, focus groups, interviews, and documentary analysis.I show that despite strong national differences, a highly decentralized process, and the strong autonomy of local actors, local social forums share structural characteristics, and the expression “social forum” is associated with ways of doing things that limit the variety of local social forum initiatives: organizers share a common intentionality; the mode of operation of local social forum process and event belong to the same political culture and translate into the same practices; and the outputs of these gatherings are similar in terms of the building of ties. Overall, local social forums are used as tactical and cultural collective action repertoires by actors, redefining the boundaries of social resistance and its practices.
Dufour, Pascale. « Practices of local forums : the building of tactical and cultural collective action repertoires ». Research in Social Movements, conflict and change 36 (2013): 235-266