The Temporalities of a Struggle

Changes in Rhythm, Urgency, and Activity in a Palestinian Social Movement
By Étienne Pingaud

Accelerations, break times, slowdowns... every mobilization goes through rhythm changes implying for people concerned new deployments and adjustments. Based on the case of a local protest movement against an Israelian army raid in Gaza, this article focus on these variations and their effects. The event sparks off indignation and feeling of an emergency to act, that make local activists immediately join themselves the struggle. The rapidity disrupts the « routine » time, activists habits and regular activities, weaken every kind of anticipation and affects the balance of power. A situation that allows new alliances or new ways of mobilization. Rhythmic break is also a symbolic break, provoking changes in perception. Consequently temporalities must be included in social movement analysis.

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