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Title: The ethos of autonomous space : paradoxical experiments in everyday liberation
Author: Eisenstadt, Nathan
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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As an ongoing experiment in the abolition of domination in all its forms, anarchist social centres aspire to prefigure a freer more equal world in the present. Yet within the experimental character of these practices, is the recognition that they may not always not live-up to their emancipatory aspirations. Pointing-out such failings, so as to modify existing practices, is one of the central aims of movement critique, and it is within this critical tradition that I position this thesis. Where movement critique has been oriented to the revelation of asymmetric power relations and a re-distribution of power to already-formed subjects, in this thesis I engage with the ways in which domination 'returns' through practices of liberated subject-formation. I argue that as anarchism is assembled at the social centre site, the subjects performed and presupposed by anarchist practices vary. Through a detailed autoethnographic study of two anarchist social centres in Bristol, England, I critique what I argue are the three dominant modes of liberated subject-formation enacted at these sites: the resisting subject, the rational subject and the subject of liberated desire. I argue that these forms of freedom are flawed in virtue of their commitment to sovereign subjectivity, which, in turn, positions personal freedom and collective equality in an intractable antagonism. As a route through this problem, I draw on Foucault's later work on the care of the self to analyse already-existing anti-oppressive practices enacted at these sites. In doing so, I propose and develop a mode of anarchist subject-formation that is at once liberating for the individual and inherently egalitarian.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available