Consenting voices? Activist life stories and complex dissent

Jolly, Margaretta (2011) Consenting voices? Activist life stories and complex dissent. Life Writing, 8 (4). pp. 363-374. ISSN 1448-4528

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What can life stories reveal about political dissenters who were once on the margins but have moved centrewards? This journey is one that many activist autobiographers have taken, from the Lavender Menace-turned- academic Karla Jay to the spectacular example of President Obama after writing his memoir Dreams From My Father. Do life stories help us to understand patterns of dissent and consent? Can they indeed balance judgements about insiders, outsiders and traitors to the cause? I will argue that they can, particularly when illuminated by theories of social movements and the life course. I will also reflect upon my own life story work with feminist veterans to open a space for thinking about the subtle relation between consent and dissent, especially when we take the long view of activism by ageing and aged subjects.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Centre for Community Engagement
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research
Depositing User: Margaretta Jolly
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:37
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 14:37
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