The Psychic Life of Resistance: The Ethnic Subject in a High-tech Region

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The last 20 years have seen a flood of studies of resistance, ranging from collective to individual acts of resistance, from the study of material aspects to its more ideational ones. Yet students of resistance have neglected the psychological dimension of everyday individual acts of resistance to power. This article is a first step to remedy that oversight. Inspired by Butler’s reading of Foucault’s notion of power at work in subjection and resistance, the article uses Goffman to substantiate such an account. Based on a 20-month ethnographic study of a traditional immigrant suburb north of Stockholm, Sweden, which is being redeveloped into a high-tech region, it offers empirical insight into the psychic life of resistance. Further, a particular resistance strategy is identified: symbolic dislocations through adherence to a boundary other than the one subjecting the self in the first place.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)625-644
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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