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Fighting cultural marginalisation with symbolic power in a Parisian banlieue

Downing, Joseph, L. Powell, Jason and Chen, Sheying (2016) Fighting cultural marginalisation with symbolic power in a Parisian banlieue. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 36 (7/8). pp. 516-530. ISSN 0144-333X

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Identification Number: 10.1108/IJSSP-06-2015-0064


Purpose – There exists a significant literature detailing the role of voluntary associations as important actors in mitigating forms of marginalisation under austerity. However, neglected in this literature is the role that such voluntary associations can play in forming and deploying “symbolic power” to fight post-colonial, cultural forms of marginalisation. This is important, especially given conditions where material forms of fighting marginalisation are limited by austerity. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – This paper employs a case study analysis, drawing on data collected during fieldwork and through archival research in France. This methodology allows for the investigation of the multitude of ways by which this association utilises post-colonial symbols to fight marginalisation. Findings – This paper finds that under conditions of austerity, the case study of this association demonstrates three important themes of analysis. First, the association, while not receiving funds outright from municipal authorities, actually is granted privileged access to municipal resources and is given significant personal support from local politicians. This support facilitates the second and third inter-related themes of analysis – namely the abilities to fight marginalisation using history and public culture. Originality/value – This paper seeks to clarify this role of voluntary associations in the important field of “symbolic power” (Bourdieu, 1990) through the use of cultural and historical symbols from a colonial/post-colonial repertoire in France.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Emerald Group
Divisions: Gender Studies
Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2016 11:21
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2024 19:39

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