1st Edition

Political Activism across the Life Course

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    180 Pages
    by Routledge

    How do people of different ages experience and engage with politics in their everyday lives, and how do these experiences and engagements change over their life course and across different generations? Age, life course and generation have become increasing important experiences for understanding political participation and political outcomes, and current policies of austerity across the world are affecting people of all ages. This book contributes towards an interdisciplinary understanding of the temporalities of everyday political encounters.

    At a time when social science is struggling to understand the rapid and unexpected changes to contemporary political landscapes, the contributors to this book present examples of activism and politics across everyday experiences of homes, communities, online platforms, local environment, playgrounds and educational spaces. The research takes ethnographic, biographical and action research approaches, and the studies described feature interlocutors as young as four and as old as ninety-two who reside in European, North and South America, and South Asia. This is an eclectic text that brings together a number of themes and ideas not typically associated with political activism, and is intended for students and academic researchers across the humanities, social and political sciences interested in the temporalities of everyday political participation. This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Social Science.

    Foreword David Canter

    Introduction: Political activism across the life course Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, Christos Varvantakis and Vinnarasan Aruldoss

    1. Embodying ‘the Next Generation’: children’s everyday environmental activism in India and England Catherine Walker

    2. Teenage girls’ narratives of becoming activists Jessica K. Taft

    3. Narrative resources and political violence: the life stories of former clandestine militants in Portugal Raquel da Silva

    4. Politicisation in later life: experience and motivations of older people participating in a protest for the first time Jonathan R. Guillemot and Debora J. Price

    5. Talking politics in everyday family lives Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, Christos Varvantakis and Vinnarasan Aruldoss

    6. Digital citizens? Data traces and family life Veronica Barassi

    7. Welfare mothers’ grassroots activism for economic justice Sheila Marie Katz

    8. Play as activism? Early childhood and (inter)generational politics Rachel Rosen

    9. Educational activism across the divide: empowering youths and their communities Thalia Dragonas and Anni Vassiliou

    10. Housing choices in later life as unclaimed forms of housing activism Andrea Jones

    11. Enduring ideals: revisiting Lifetimes of Commitment twenty-five years later Molly Andrews


    Sevasti-Melissa Nolas is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. Her research focuses on the relationship between childhood and public life, everyday childhoods, temporalities of everyday politics, and publics creating methodologies.

    Christos Varvantakis is an anthropologist, working as a researcher at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. His research focuses on the intersections of childhood and public life, politics and urban environments, as well as on visual and multimodal research methodologies.

    Vinnarasan Aruldoss is a Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK. His main research interests are childhood theories, post-colonial childhood, early years provision, children's politics and social policy.