Political mobilisation and the question of subjectivity
In its broadest aspect, this thesis constitutes a demonstration of the substantive utility of a political sociology that pays serious regard to the issues surrounding the notion of subjectivity. More specifically, it takes the form of a sustained argument concerning the relationship between political mobilisation and the various structures and dynamics associated with subjectivity. In the first part of the thesis, a theory of consciousness, subjectivity and intersubjectivity is developed. It is argued that as a result of a number of existential facts about consciousness, individuals manifest and are subject to various socio-existential dynamics of subjectivity. The most important of these are: (a) the necessity experienced by individuals to reaffirm their senses of self; (b) their desire for the symbolic mastery of the "external-world"; and (c) the compulsion experienced to negate symbolically the foreignness of the other. The second part of the thesis is devoted to exploring some of the political consequences and implications of the existence of these dynamics. By means of a number of case studies - specifically, analyses of political conflict, political ritual and populism - it is demonstrated that in order to understand various kinds of political mobilisation, it is necessary to understand the sense in which political action and discourse dovetail with the structures and dynamics of subjectivity. It is concluded that to the extent that this is the case, a political sociology which neglects issues of subjectivity is necessarily partial.