Pierre Bourdieu and Populism: The Everyday Politics of Outrageous Resistance l aura grat tan A quick snapshot of populist politics in twenty-first century America reveals an off-beat cast: Christian fundamentalists, vigilante border patrol- lers, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, broad-based community organizers, grassroots ecopopulists, Occupy Wall Street, the advertising duo of John Mellencamp and Chevrolet, and a supporting cast too long to credit. Populist politics has always attracted this cacophony of voices and styles of expression. Yet, scholars debating the future of democ- racy are oen q ft uick to assign populism a fixed refrain. At stake are competing responses to a nagging question: Can populism in the age of neoliberalism be more than an easily assimilable, or worse, reactionary, form of protest politics, oer ff ing the fantasy of popular control in times of increasing vulnerability and disempowerment? For many schol- ars on the left, the answer depends on whether activists can wrest popu- lism’s rebellious energies from the right, and invent savvier, more resilient forms of oppositional polit ics. According to those who sing this tune, pop- ulism’s strength is its combative rhetoric, which mobilizes the demands of the people against the abuses
The Good Society – Penn State University Press
Published: Jan 3, 2012
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