If the concept of repression is to be useful when the state is not the primary target of social movement action, it needs to conceptualize how changes in values, perspectives, culture, norms, expectations and behavior in the public at large are contested through political interaction in civil society. Although non-state actors can sometimes use violence, their typical forms of repression of social movements are non-violent or “soft.” I suggest three forms of action – ridicule, stigma and silencing – that are commonly employed by non-state actors to repress challengers. Because women’s movements include challenges to non-state authorities, they have long been targets of soft repression. Examples of the use of power against challengers to the gender status quo are used to illustrate all three forms of soft repression.
Marx Ferree, M. (2004), "SOFT REPRESSION: RIDICULE, STIGMA, AND SILENCING IN GENDER-BASED MOVEMENTS", Myers, D.J. and Cress, D.M. (Ed.) Authority in Contention (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 85-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0163-786X(04)25004-2Download as .RIS
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