Being and Time: A Study on Members of Casapound Italia

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:00
Oral Presentation
S├ębastien PARKER, University of Toronto, Canada
Previous research on members of far-right groups has often focused on initial motivations to join. In doing so, these studies provide insight into why individuals become activists for these beliefs but focus less on their experiences, and their variations, after joining (Goodwin 2011; Blee 2016; Pilkington 2016). It is thus less clear to us what it means to be in a far-right group. Using an interpretive and relational approach, this study explores sustained commitment over time for members of CasaPound Italia. I propose that we need to focus on continued interactions between individuals and their organization, in that it allows us to see how both meaning and experience can differ while maintaining participation. Through ethnographic fieldwork and 30 semi-structured interviews with members of CasaPound Italia, conducted between January and March 2016 in Rome, Florence, Nettuno, and Varese, I investigate three interrelated dynamics for both sustained commitment within the group and everyday activist experiences: (I) actions and ways of being, specifically how members incorporate them; (II) ideas and ideals promoted, and how members understand and use them; (III) interactions within and outside the organization, and how they help foster participation.