Enduring Crowds: The Ritual Molding of the Anthropos in the Prolonging of Political Protest

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Abstract

In this chapter, I propose a novel concept that can supplement existing approaches to the study of crowds: “enduring crowds.” My starting point of discussion relates to the question of temporality, and to the trivial yet crucial fact that in many locations, since the period that we still talk about as the ‘Arab spring’, the protesting crowds that occupied the central city squares stayed on for longer periods of time – weeks, months or even years. I argue that this protracted temporality forces us to rethink basic axioms of crowd theory. The recent revolutionary events thus represent unique opportunities to develop a more articulate anthropology of the political crowd and of crowd behaviour. I will do so by highlighting the dynamics of the 2013 Maidan uprising in Kiev, Ukraine, and by posing the simple question: what happens to crowds when they endure over time?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCrowds : Ethnographic Encounters
EditorsMegan Steffen
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication date2020
Chapter8
ISBN (Print)9781350002340
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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