Jihadist and Extreme-Right Movements Today: Violence, Embodied Subjectivities and Imaginaries
Language: French and English
The past decade has seen an expansion of violent jihadist and extreme-right movements, with significant convergence between them evident in the primacy of personal experience over organizational structure and in the importance of social media. One sociological approach to this development has focused on mapping the network structures associated with these movements. In contrast, this panel will explore their experiential dimensions, from the heightened experience of selfhood associated with the role of strangeness and mystery evident in their engagement with conspiracy theory, their embrace of Hollywood imaginaries and their debt to world religions. Both these movements have a significant experiential debt towards racism, with its imaginary of purity and contamination. Embodied humour plays an important role in these movements, as a practice of both integration and exclusion. Both constellations of movements have significant pathways linked to criminal violence.
Today these movements confront sociology with major theoretical and methodological challenges. Theoretically, most sociological approaches consider violence an instrument, not an experience, and it is important that the tension between these two approaches become more creative. Violent actors increasingly generate cultural products seeking to communicate the sense of their violence (from tweets to videos), and the panel will consider theoretical and methodological issues that researchers confront in attempting to analyse these. Today’s violent movements confront sociology with the challenge of theoretical and methodological renewal, and this panel calls for papers that seek to respond to this by linking theoretical questions with empirical data.