Experiencing the Crisis: Results of the Habitus Reconstruction

Part of the Critical Political Theory and Radical Practice book series (CPTRP)


Interpreting interviews and group discussions with activists from the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street as well as pictures used in the protests’ propaganda materials, Kumkar demonstrates how the activists’ habitus structured their experience of the Great Recession and predisposed them to resonate with certain protest-practices. He identifies an ambivalent relationship between the habitus in crisis and the protests—while the protests articulate frustration, they are also ways of coping with it unconsciously. Thus, the basic orienting pattern of Tea Party activists, ‘disappointment without disillusionment’, prevents them from confronting the traumatic kernel of their experience, offering them a reassuring web of conspiracies instead. The Occupiers were affectively invested in their ‘prefigurative practices’ also because these functioned as redirection activities for their blocked anticipated professional trajectories.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BremenBremenGermany

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