The Role of Emotions in Grassroots Activism in Mexico City

Tipo: capítulo

Año: 2023

Autor: Tommaso Gravante y Alice Poma

Resumen: The chapter analyses experiences of grassroots groups that have organisedthemselves in Mexico City since the Covid-19 outbreak, using mutual aid and solidarity to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable people. These self-managed groups and networks have worked, among other things, on makingand delivering food and baskets with basic products, setting up communitykitchens, offering medicines, providing psychological support to cope with thepandemic and increased domestic violence resulting from the lockdown, aswell as supporting children’s education and even forging creative alliances tofacilitate the exchange of services or sale of products made by professionalartisans and local farmers. The hypothesis that we consider in this chapterforwards that the social impact of these mutually supported communities is notlimited to addressing the social needs the pandemic caused, but also involvesprefigurative political practices. By analysing the politicisation process of thetrauma experienced by those affected by the pandemic and the collectivisationof certain emotions, such as pain, shame, guilt, and powerlessness, amongothers, we show how these groups are proposing practices, emotions and“feeling rules” (Hochschild, 1975) antagonistic to those promoted by theneoliberal model, such as individualism, egoism, competitiveness, narcissism,contempt for the poor, etc. The analysis of the emotional dimension of theseexperiences will be conducted based on Hochschild’s sociological theory ofemotions as sociocultural constructs and the literature on emotions and protest(Jasper, 2018).

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Laboratorio Interinstitucional del Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales  y del Centro de Investigaciones Interdisciplinarias en Ciencias y Humanidades
de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales