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  • 1.
    Ferrada Stoehrel, Rodrigo
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    The regime’s worst nightmare: the mobilisation of citizen democracy. A study of Podemos’ (aesthetic) populism and production of affect in political discourse2017In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 31, no 4, p. 543-579Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In spite of not even being officially registered three months before the European Parliament Elections of 2014, the Spanish upstart party Podemos captured almost 8 percent of the vote, while barely nine months after its formation, in October 2014, social surveys were citing the party as the leading force in national politics. The overall purpose of this paper is to explore how Podemos’ aesthetic and its discursive strategies are being used to mobilize affect and create collective identities in the battle for political hegemony in Spain. I argue in dialogue with Laclau [2005. On populist reason. London: Verso], Errejón and Mouffe [2016. Podemos: in the name of the people. London: Lawrence & Wishart] that: (a) the articulation of a new political grammar and discursive conflicts in which the popular majority can identify themselves as subjects in opposition to an adversary ‘Other’ plays a central role in constructing ‘the people’ as a new form of political culture, especially in times of crisis whereby; (b) the notion of populism transgresses categories such as ‘oversimplification’ and/or ‘demagogy’ and can also be regarded in terms of exhibiting sensitivity to popular demands and participatory democracy. My findings show that welfare politics are not necessarily best communicated through traditional left-wing symbols, due to the left’s popular link with communism and political defeat; these having been repeatedly recounted by the media/culture industry throughout history. Indeed, many may share the idea of protecting a nation’s common social services without wanting to position themselves within a Marxist (leftist) framework. I point to the representative crisis as an affective crisis where there is a potential affective space to be filled. From here, I stress that resistance movements seem to need to learn the current media logic of conflict and recognition in order to mediate affect and produce identification.

  • 2.
    Ingridsdotter, Jenny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of culture and media studies.
    A narrative of suffering and soil: Swedish migration and settler colonialism in northeast Argentina2023In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 37, no 3, p. 485-507Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines the narrated memory of a Swedish settler colony in northeast Argentina. Recently, scholarly attention has turned to how migrants of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries contributed to colonizing processes in the Americas as they established themselves on lands already inhabited by Indigenous Peoples. The settlement of Swedish migrants in Misiones is here regarded as part of a strategy of settler colonialism advocated by the Argentine state in order to extend the agrarian frontier further and thereby ‘civilise’ and secure the nation’s rural landscape through the presence of white settlers. From this perspective, the aim of the article is to understand how the historical macropolitical framework of settler colonialism in Argentina is interwoven in the collective and individual narratives of Swedish descendants in present-day Misiones. The article draws on ethnographic interviews and observations made in Misiones between 2017 and 2019. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 individuals along with walk-along observations at seven Swedish community sites. The article argues that a central narrative of memory among the descendants of Swedish settlers relies upon certain elements crucial to settler colonial societies. However, while this narrative structure is intrinsic to settler colonialism, it must also be analysed as part of a migration narrative. This article brings forth new empirical material from a site in Latin America where Swedish migration history has not previously been studied ethnographically. Further, it brings the study of migration, colonial settlement, and indigenous dispossession together through its analysis of a settler narrative in the particular context of settler colonial history of Misiones.

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  • 3.
    Lauri, Johanna
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Bäckström, Hanna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Coffee by women: the 'duty of ethical enjoyment'2019In: Cultural Studies, ISSN 0950-2386, E-ISSN 1466-4348, Vol. 33, no 5, p. 866-887Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores the contemporary trend of deploying feminist values in the case of ethical branding. Using the psychoanalytical concepts logics of fantasy and enjoyment, we analyse the campaign by Swedish coffee brand Zoégas, Coffee by Women, to understand how a combination of development discourse, ‘women’s empowerment’ and the opportunity to ‘do good’ is employed to sell coffee. The analysis shows that the campaign depicts the threat of a future lack of coffee, creating anxiety in the consumer, supposedly motivating her to purchase Zoégas, as Coffee by Women is claimed to secure and educate new generations of coffee farmers. Simultaneously, this is presented as ‘empowering women’ in the global South. We argue that this narrative builds on a colonial fantasy of global sisterhood and shared interests that works to conceal the political conflicts connected to global trade and climate change. Through a commodification of feminist values and aesthetics, this fantasy works to redirect the desire for social change towards consumption, offering an enjoyable solution that disregards any wider responsibility. It has been argued that the structure of the social bond before the era of mass consumption was characterized by a prohibition on individual enjoyment for the benefit of the common good. After the arrival of mass consumption, the social bond instead became marked by a duty to enjoy. In the contemporary context of ethical capitalism, we suggest that the social bond is rather structured by a ‘duty of ethical enjoyment’, containing elements of both prohibition and pleasure.

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