Kirsi Eräranta, Johanna Moisander, Sinikka Pesonen
  • European Societies, July 2009, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/14616690902764757

How do members of eco-communes engage in resistance and political struggle through politics of self?

What is it about?

This paper focuses on eco-communes as sites of resistance and political activism. Based on a post-structuralist narrative analysis of interview materials, this paper elaborates on the ways in which life in an eco-commune is narrated and represented as an identity project with a mission to bring about social change. The study shows how members of an eco-commune work on their identity as eco-communards by discursively problematizing their personal relation to themselves (self) and to others (spouse and family), as well as by constructing new forms of subjectivity, intimacy, and relatedness through communal life.

Why is it important?

The paper empirically elaborates Foucauldian ideas of political struggle as ‘politics of self’ and moral agency as a mode of self-formation (Foucault 1983, 1985, 1988), and Judith Butler’s (1990) ideas of resistance as ‘subversive repetition.’ The study contributes to the sociological literature on political resistance and environmentalism by theoretically elaborating and empirically illustrating the micro practices of power and resistance through which individual members of the environmental movement may pursue their political agenda.


Professor Johanna K. Moisander
Aalto University

This paper is based on ethnographic field work carried out by Sinikka Pesonen for her doctoral dissertation.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Professor Johanna K. Moisander

In partnership with: