Age has not received much attention in the literature on social movements, but it is an important part of human identity. Like other people, activists engage in age-related “identity work.” By studying age dynamics – cooperation and conflict between and among age-based groups – we can learn about collective identity and conflict. This chapter examines age-related discourse and interaction in the feminist movement in Argentina. As the movement has grown and gained momentum over the past 15 years, younger women have joined movement pioneers. Drawing on data from interviews with activists and participant observation in Buenos Aires during three periods (1998, 2001–2003, and 2011), the study examines narratives as an aspect of age-related identity work. While discourse about distance and conflict were common in the earlier periods, when the movement’s pioneers dominated, narratives about cooperation and respect surfaced in the later period as young women shared the movement with older ones. In movements with multiple age-based cohorts, age gains salience with interaction.
My deepest thanks to the Argentine activists who spoke with me and welcomed my research over many years. Thanks also to the helpful suggestions I got on earlier drafts from Nancy Whittier, Jo Reger, Lynn Gazley, Lynn Woehrle, participants in the TCNJ Politics Forum, and anonymous reviewers.
Borland, E. (2014), "Age Dynamics and Identity: Conflict and Cooperation among Feminists in Buenos Aires", Intersectionality and Social Change (Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Vol. 37), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 83-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-786X20140000037003Download as .RIS
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