CGF Higher Seminar with Sara Bondesson
Sara Bondesson (Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership, Swedish Defence University, Stockholm)
GRASSROOTS ORGANIZING AND ACTIVISM TO COUNTER DISASTER INEQUALITY:
ETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATIONS OF OCCUPY SANDY’S WORK AFTER HURRICANE SANDY IN NEW YORK 2012
In this seminar Sara Bondesson will discuss mechanisms to handle inequality between participants in claimed participatory spaces. Through ethnographic studies of the Occupy Sandy network after Hurricane Sandy in New York City, it shows that although activists worked with socio-economically marginalized communities aiming to empower them, the mechanisms put in place to counteract inequality brought about three problems of differentiation. Firstly, there were issues of situated marginalization in relation to who were affected by the storm. This cut across the explicitly acknowledged identity markers of race, gender and class that the activist worked to counter. Secondly, since it was a small group, variation in individual agency affected influence and power in the group that also complicated the structural analysis that activists worked with. Lastly, participants spanned a number of intersectional subject positions which made the mechanisms put in place to counteract gender, class and race-based power differences more complicated.
Sara Bondesson, PhD, is Assistant Professor at the Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, and also affiliated with the Department of Government, Uppsala University and Center for Natural Hazards and Disaster Science (CNDS). She specializes in disaster management, disaster risk reduction, gender issues, political participation, grass-root organizing and voluntarism, empowerment and social vulnerability. Current research includes work on disaster risk reduction, humanitarian relief and gender studies.
This seminar is co-arranged by the Centre for Climate and Safety (KAU) and Centre for Gender Studies (KAU).