Communication de conférence

Educating the Sighted : A Microsociological Study of Negotiations of a Contentious Strategy of Disability Simulation

in 111th American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, United States, August 20-23, 2016

Buchter, Lisa (19..-....) ; American Sociological Association Annual Meeting. 111th, Seattle, United States, August 20-23, 2016

ASA, American Sociological Association 2016

This paper offers a study of the micro-dynamics at play in the selection and implementation of a strategy of collective action. While several studies have offered insights into the ways through which microsociology can improve our understanding of framing and mobilization within social movements, the selection of tactics and strategies still need to be understood at the micro-level. To tackle this question, I address an empirical puzzle: why did a group of young highly-educated blind activists ... invest in a strategy of action seen as controversial in the broader disability rights movement in France (i.e. game-based awareness campaign simulating disabilities)? I claim that this contentious strategy is the result of their collective interpretation of the meaning and emotions surrounding stigmatization: they diagnose that discrimination is stemming from sighted individuals’ irrational fear and embarrassment toward blind people. This case leads us to contend that the vision of a self-evident, ordered and immediately available repertoire of actions might be inaccurate: at the local level, the designing and selection of every item of social movements’ repertoire of action requires time, energy and resources to be negotiated and accepted.

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