Conceptualizing 'Everyday Resistance': A Transdisciplinary Approach, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Conceptualizing 'Everyday Resistance'

A Transdisciplinary Approach, 1st Edition

By Stellan Vinthagen, Anna Johanssen


240 pages

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pub: 2019-11-18
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Everyday resistance is about the many ways people undermine power and domination through their routine and everyday actions. Unlike open rebellions or demonstrations, it is typically hidden, not politically articulated, and often ingenious. But because of its disguised nature, it is often poorly understood as a form of politics and its potential underestimated.

Conceptualizing Everyday Resistance presents an analytical framework and theoretical tools to understand the entanglements of everyday power and resistance. These are applied to diverse empirical cases including queer relationships in the context of heteronormativity, Palestinian daily life under military occupation, workplace behaviors under office surveillance, and the tactics of fat acceptance bloggers facing the War against obesity. Johansson and Vinthagen argue that everyday resistance is best understood by accounting for different repertoires of tactics, relations between actors, and struggles around constructions of time and space. Through a critical dialogue with the work of James C. Scott, Michel de Certeau, and Asef Bayat, they aim to reconstruct the field of resistance studies, expanding what counts as resistance and building systematic analysis.

Conceptualizing Everyday Resistance offers researchers and students from different theoretical and empirical backgrounds, an essential overview of the field and a creative framework that illuminates the potential of all people to transform society.


"Resistance comes in many different forms. It is ultimately about forming assemblies, engaging in collective and/or individual protests and it involves everything from direct oppositions to delay tactics, refusals to collaborate to the creation of alternatives, et cetera. In addressing 'everyday resistance', this timely and well-written book help us filling a gap in our current understanding of resistance (practices) and, by extension, social change. In close dialogue with other important scholars in the field, this illuminating, interesting, inspiring and important book, is a needed corrective to the existing literature that provides some coherence and congruity to the emerging field of Resistance Studies. I would recommend it to a wide readership, to anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of current (world) politics."Mikael Baaz, Associate Professor of International law and Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Gothenburg

Table of Contents


Part I: A Theoretical Framework – Resistance as Everyday Oppositional Practice

1. Introduction: Everyday Resistance as a Concept

2. A Theoretical Approach: Scott and de Certeau

3. Everyday Resistance as Practice

4. Everyday Resistance as an Act of Opposition

Intermezzo. Towards a framework that guides our analysis of everyday resistance

Part II: An Analytical Framework – Dimensions of Everyday Resistance

5. Repertoires of everyday resistance in relation to configurations of power

6. Relationships of agents

7. The spatialization of everyday resistance

8. The temporalization of everyday resistance

9. Four dimensions of everyday resistance – the case of Palestinian Sumūd

10. Conclusions - Towards a Transdisciplinary Social Science Analaysis of Everyday Resistance

About the Authors

Anna Johansson is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Department of Social and Behavioural Studies of University West, Sweden. Her areas of research are mainly resistance studies, critical fat studies, and gender studies.

Stellan Vinthagen is Professor and Endowed Chair in the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is also Co-Leader of the Resistance Studies Group at University of Gothenburg, Sweden and co-founder of the Resistance Studies Network, as well as Editor of the Journal of Resistance Studies. His research is focused on resistance, power, social movements, nonviolent action, conflict transformation and social change.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory