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Citizenship in action: squatting and everyday politics


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Maija Jokela

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Citizenship in action: squatting and everyday politics

  1. 1. Citizenship in action Squatting and everyday politics Maija Jokela PhD Researcher, University of Tampere 10.5.2016 Emerging forms of citizenship
  2. 2. Citizenship in Action: Ethnographic Research on Activism and Everyday Politics • PhD research (2016-2019) • Preliminary idea: • Squatting movement • (Neighborhood movement) • (A yet unnamed movement that works with the rights of non-Finnish citizens who are in a precarious situation – “a sans-papiers movement”) • How is citizenship practiced in these movements? • Everyday social practices and how they are political
  3. 3. Discussions… • What is political action? How is it defined? • Social movements, new social movements, counter-cultural lifestyles… • A definition of social movements: ”informal networks, based on shared beliefs and solidarity, which mobilize about conflictual issues, through the frequent use of various forms of protest”. (della Porta & Diani 1999) -> A rather narrow definition • Finnish political culture and the place of civil society in it • Peaceful and lawful associations working for the good of the state • Social movements forming into registered associations
  4. 4. Squatting (movement) • A definition? - “Living in or using a dwelling without the consent of the owner” (Mayer 2013) - Squatting movement? • Social centres - Autonomy-ideology (1970’s Italy): autonomy from the state and the market - Nodal points for political and counter-cultural networks places for meetings and Do It Yourself-activities ”In squatting, ideology is loosely coupled to practice. Seeing it as loosely coupled is a way to avoid tripping over some paradoxes, such as that between the belief espoused by squatters that the squatters’ movement is dominated by a great revulsion against hierarchical order [and] authority -- and the existence of hierarchical order and authority -- within the movement”. (Hans Pruijt 2013) -> The key is to study the practice of squatting
  5. 5. Squatting and the everyday politics • How is squatting political? • Ideology and politics reaches nearly all aspects of life through social practices (dumpster-diving; DIY; refusing hierarchies, sexism and racism…) -> crossing over from the sphere of ”civic” (private ”lifestyles”) to that of ”political” -> these social practices are politicized and politicizing -> demonstrates the overlap and blurry boundaries of the movements (Yates 2015)
  6. 6. Squatting in Finland / Helsinki • ”Squatting wave” in Helsinki during the first decade of the 2000’s • Based on a transnational alter-globalization network • Autonomy and autonomous social centres… • …but negotiations with the city • Master’s Thesis (Jokela 2012) on social centre Satama (2009-2011) • Dispute over a camp of East European romani • A turning point for the movement: gained a more anarchist approach and no longer wanted to negotiate with the city • Only a few (public) squats after Satama • Currently, again, a legal squat (Makamik 2013-) • An overlap (again) with the sans-papiers movement?
  7. 7. References • della Porta, Donatella & Diani, Mario (1999): Social Movements. An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell publishing. • Mayer, Margit (2015): Preface. In Squatting in Europe. Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles, eds. Squatting Europe Kollective. Wivenhoe / Mew York /Port Watson: Minor Compositions. • Pruijt, Hans (2013): Squatting in Europe. In Squatting in Europe. Radical Spaces, Urban Struggles, toim. Squatting Europe Kollective. Wivenhoe / Mew York /Port Watson: Minor Compositions. • Yates, Luke (2015): Everyday politics, social practices and movement networks. Daily life in Barcelona’s social centres. The British Journal of Sociology 66(2), 236-258.