Resistance is a widespread phenomenon, to be found in a variety of contexts. In biology the most basic process of survival, whether of a cell or an organism, is that of maintaining life by resisting some of the external influences, while consuming others. Resistance is treated here as a functional process of an organism. Vaccination is a commonplace example of the development of resistance through exposure to small doses of toxic material which subsequently enables the organism to resist future infections. What does resistance mean for the existence of a person who is not only a biological system, but a social and psychological being as well? How does resistance operate at the level of meaning-making; here not as a simple function, but as an intentional process where new meaning constructions emerge in the form of thinking, feeling, acting or simply living with others. Hence, what does it mean to be a subject resisting a sociocultural environment and how does the meaning of resisting become meaningful in the life-course of a person or group of persons? People resist – this is evident, but under which conditions does resistance emerge and how does this struggle feed into the life of the individual as a meaningful way of being and not a simple refusal of the other? We have learned from therapy that resistance is important. In traumatic, dangerous and chaotic situations, the subject’s psychological well-being is dependent on his or her resistance to the meaninglessness of an event in life. However, resistance is not well articulated in the literature and when it is, it is most often considered as something counter-productive, something that should be avoided. At the social level, formation of new groups is often related to resistance towards existing ones (Valsiner, 2012). The life course of Gandhi is an extraordinary historical example of how one man’s life-course created a social movement by resisting not only the colonial powers, but also traditional scripts (of violence and aggression, as well as of religious fundamentalism) of such resistance, thereby operating on the border between resistance and non-resistance. Thus, resistance has a vital role in maintenance as well as generative processes. Perceiving resistance as something which should be avoided builds on a conceptualization of resistance in ‘itself’ as counter-productive or negative influence, as a refusal of the other. In this volume, we avoid a negative conceptualization of ‘resistance’. Ordinary life events contain innumerable instances of agency, of resistance. The manifestation of resistance in everyday experiences is the intended agenda of this book. Even under extraordinary conditions, ordinary things continue to be done, and the “braiding together” of the ordinary and extraordinary is in need of greater attention.

Chaudhary, N., Hviid, P., Marsico, G., Villadsen J., (Eds). (2017). Resistance in Everyday Life: Constructing Cultural Experiences, Geneve, Switzerland: Springer.

MARSICO, Giuseppina
2017

Abstract

Resistance is a widespread phenomenon, to be found in a variety of contexts. In biology the most basic process of survival, whether of a cell or an organism, is that of maintaining life by resisting some of the external influences, while consuming others. Resistance is treated here as a functional process of an organism. Vaccination is a commonplace example of the development of resistance through exposure to small doses of toxic material which subsequently enables the organism to resist future infections. What does resistance mean for the existence of a person who is not only a biological system, but a social and psychological being as well? How does resistance operate at the level of meaning-making; here not as a simple function, but as an intentional process where new meaning constructions emerge in the form of thinking, feeling, acting or simply living with others. Hence, what does it mean to be a subject resisting a sociocultural environment and how does the meaning of resisting become meaningful in the life-course of a person or group of persons? People resist – this is evident, but under which conditions does resistance emerge and how does this struggle feed into the life of the individual as a meaningful way of being and not a simple refusal of the other? We have learned from therapy that resistance is important. In traumatic, dangerous and chaotic situations, the subject’s psychological well-being is dependent on his or her resistance to the meaninglessness of an event in life. However, resistance is not well articulated in the literature and when it is, it is most often considered as something counter-productive, something that should be avoided. At the social level, formation of new groups is often related to resistance towards existing ones (Valsiner, 2012). The life course of Gandhi is an extraordinary historical example of how one man’s life-course created a social movement by resisting not only the colonial powers, but also traditional scripts (of violence and aggression, as well as of religious fundamentalism) of such resistance, thereby operating on the border between resistance and non-resistance. Thus, resistance has a vital role in maintenance as well as generative processes. Perceiving resistance as something which should be avoided builds on a conceptualization of resistance in ‘itself’ as counter-productive or negative influence, as a refusal of the other. In this volume, we avoid a negative conceptualization of ‘resistance’. Ordinary life events contain innumerable instances of agency, of resistance. The manifestation of resistance in everyday experiences is the intended agenda of this book. Even under extraordinary conditions, ordinary things continue to be done, and the “braiding together” of the ordinary and extraordinary is in need of greater attention.
978-981-10-3580-7
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4678495
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