Desktop version

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


In this chapter I have provided a narrative of an important historical episode of ideological competition and conflict between anarchists and socialists in the BACMF. This is important, first, because it provides a historical record of this dynamic between British anticapitalist groups in the 21st century. Second, on a theoretical level, it explains why this competitive and conflictual dynamic occurs. Specifically, employing the field concept demonstrates how groups interact and are drawn into the same political space, and how they can accrue symbolic capital and enhance their political position. This can eventually lead to achieving an ideological dominance, which then shapes the direction of the struggle they are part of. Third, this use of the field concept opens up a whole new area of study - conflict between and within movements. Established social movement theories do not consider these issues. Even when there is discussion around movements and counter-movements, these debates are centred on monetary resources. There is little consideration of ideological motivations and symbolic capital. Therefore, this chapter has provided a sustained theoretical basis for the study of ideological competition and conflict, not just for anti-capitalist groups but also for social movements more generally.

The next chapter focuses on the power of capital in fields and how this can change the political dynamics to the detriment of less powerful groups.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >