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Home arrow Sociology arrow Bourdieu and Social Movements: Ideological Struggles in the British Anti-Capitalist Movement


This chapter has outlined the anti-neoliberal master frame. I have argued that such a frame is inadequate since it suggests there is a 'unity of opposition' to neoliberalism. Many organizations included in this master frame move in different ideological directions even if they have the same political objectives. This book is a study of the BACMF and its relationship with the wider social and political forces of anti-neoliberalism. Therefore, I have argued that an examination of the particular ideologies that inform British anticapitalism needs to be undertaken to demonstrate that, far from cooperation and political unity, there is division, competition, conflict and struggles between different groups that comprise the BACMF. There are essentially two ideological factions in the BACMF - anarchism and socialism. The application of Bourdieu's formula, which is detailed in the next chapter, provides a fresh approach to social movement analysis by taking account of intra- and inter-movement field competition and conflict that is driven by different ideological demands. In addition, I develop the concept of doxa to explain the crisis in the political field, which galvanized not just activists but also citizens into taking action. However, the lack of an adequate political habitus, coupled with the intra-movement field in-fighting between the more experienced politicos, meant that the Occupy movement in the UK was short lived.

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