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Social movements and the politics of care: empathy, solidarity and eviction blockades

Santos, F. G. ORCID: 0000-0001-7006-2088 (2020). Social movements and the politics of care: empathy, solidarity and eviction blockades. Social Movement Studies, 19(2), pp. 125-143. doi: 10.1080/14742837.2019.1665504


This paper develops a perspective of mobilization based on the ethics of care to explore the complexities of political solidarity in social movements. On the one hand, it is interested in the reasons why commonly aggrieved individuals do not always collaborate to confront their oppression. On the other, it explores why sometimes people initiate mobilization for causes that do not benefit them directly. From a care perspective, aggrieved individuals may not mobilize to confront their troubles because some of their caring needs (emotional, identity, and participatory) are not covered. At the same time, empathy motivates people not affected by a grievance to initiate mobilization in support of the oppressed collective. Internal solidarity among those aggrieved may be created during the process of mobilization through care work. The analytical relevance of this model is demonstrated explaining the mobilization of the ‘Platform of Those Affected by Mortgages’, the biggest housing organization in Spain. A care-based approach to mobilization contributes to our analysis of contentious collective action by helping to better understand the complexities of political solidarity and the mechanisms through which organizations foster solidarity among their members.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Movement Studies on 11 Sep 2019, available at: http://10.1080/14742837.2019.1665504
Publisher Keywords: Care, empathy solidarity, evictions, Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca, PAH
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
Text - Accepted Version
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