The Transgression of the Normative Frame. the Reception of Individualization and the Relationship to Formal Rules in Two French Squats.

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 09:45
Location: Hörsaal III (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Margot VERDIER, SOPHIAPOL Universite Nanterre Paris-Ouest, France
The renewal of the practice of squatting goes along with the mutations of contemporary social movements. These heterotopias open spaces to experiment original forms of social organization, adapted to the evolutions of political involvement. They thus allow to question the receptions of the process of individualization which is currently characterized by the subjectivization of the relationships with collective norms and the valuation of individual autonomy.

The controversy on the relationships squats should have with local authorities divides the french squatting movement since the 80's. The appearance, in 2001, of the “Conventions of Precarious Occupation” led to a process of institutionalization that conducted to the legalization of tens of occupations, mostly in the artistic squatting scene. The anti-authoritarian squats oppose to what they consider as a “normalization”, the necessity of a transgressive, experimental and informal dynamic, the only way to maintain a permanent questioning of domination relationships and to free the expression of individual subjectivity (“Interface sabote nos squats”, 2003).

This communication analyzes the relationship squatters maintain with formal rules according to their political positions, both in their representations and practices. I compare the results of two ethnographic fieldworks I conducted for two years in the ZAD of Notre-Dame-des-Landes, an anti-authoritarian occupation and in the Shakirail in Paris, an artistic legalized squat which is based on a hybridization of anti-authoritarian and liberal principles. Which types of behaviors are formalized and which processes lead to this formalization? How rules can be called in question? By focusing on the conditions and procedures that lead to the formalization of rules of behavior and to its critic, I interrogate the way each group deals with the antinomy that unites individual freedom and the necessities of collective life (Masnata, 2000).