When we get our rights... reinterpreting the present and creating trajectories with a symbolic resource.
In: Gülerce, Aydan, Hofmeister, A., Steauble, I., Saunders, G. and Kaye, J., (eds.)
Contemporary theorizing in psychology: global perspectives.
Captus University Publications, Concord, ON, Canada.
This chapter examines the role of a future-imagining symbolic resource for participants in a collective action movement. A case study of an HIV prevention project led by sex workers in Calcutta is explores the societal context which makes the symbolic resource of “workers’ rights” meaningful and plausible to sex workers, and the personal and organisational consequences of this symbolic resource. It is suggested that the very non-presentness and unrealism of the state imagined by this symbolic resource is crucial to its ability to change present self-interpretations, and thereby to encourage the work of participants in the project. Acquiring awareness of the concept of “workers’ rights” is recalled by participants as a turning point in their political awareness, producing a past-present-future trajectory.
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