Anthropology Seminar | Explaining why the public manipulation of political symbols intensifies in periods of social instability (and the political vertigoes this generates) | Dr Luis Angosto Ferrandez
Department of Anthropology Seminar Series 2021: The relevance of anthropology in the contemporary world.
Explaining why the public manipulation of political symbols intensifies in periods of social instability (and the political vertigoes this generates)
Presented by Dr Luis Angosto Ferrandez
The current international scenario provides new instances of a recurrent phenomenon: the public display and manipulation of political symbols intensifies in periods of social instability. The multilayered effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased social tensions in many countries, recasting pre-existing conflicts and giving shape to new ones. These tensions have been indexed by a variety of protests and mobilisations in which political symbols have featured prominently. Examples abound and range from the display of national flags in some of those protests to the succession of strikes on statues recorded in most varied locations.
The big question lurking in the background is: why does the usage of political symbols intensify in periods of social instability? In this presentation I contend that this phenomenon, which is very well documented, remains largely explained (perhaps because the political and scholarly vertigoes that attempting to answering that question generates).
I will discuss the contributions and limitations of theoretical efforts that open avenues to explaining the phenomenon, and will argue that that the explanatory capacities of these efforts have been eroded by a misrecognition (or a misrepresentation) of the role that symbols play in power struggles and in the (re)establishment of hierarchies of authority within social formations.
Join via Zoom: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/86258063964
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona