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Home arrow Sociology arrow Bourdieu and Social Movements: Ideological Struggles in the British Anti-Capitalist Movement
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Conclusion

From this evidence, a doxic crisis occurred in the Spanish, US and UK political fields. The financial crisis was produced exogenous to the political field and caused a reaction that led to major protests in these parts of the world, leading to a crisis of doxa. Citizens started to question the way in which financiers had been gambling with people's financial future. Citizens also started to question why meritocracy was not working, especially when unemployment was rising among graduates. What made this worse was that large companies, which had been avoiding paying taxes, were not being brought to book for their at best amoral and at worst immoral practices. At the same time, bonuses were still being paid to bankers and financial executives.

For some time, the discontent with practices of neoliberalism had mostly been debated between the heterodox activists/academics and orthodox elites within the sphere of discourse. The arguments exchanged between them are often esoteric and, by and large, citizens are mostly content with the political system. However, the financial crisis produced a critique that spread to a broader populace. What had been taken for granted and was previously undiscussed was now raised to the level of discourse. Notions of what is fair and unfair were now being discussed among the public. The slogan 'We are the 99%' was born and this seemed to resonate with people beyond activists and academics. What had been taken for granted and was previously undiscussed was now being questioned.

That said, elites are well resourced and were able to thwart the protesters as they are established incumbents within the political field. They can draw on support from governance units within the field and they did. Occupy London was a case in point when the activists were evicted. Without sufficient resources to sustain the protest, they did not last more than a few months. However, what is more important is the fact that the Occupy movement in the UK (here I am only speaking of London and one northern city in which my research was conducted) was plagued by internal conflict and a lack of a coherent political programme. What's more, it seemed in certain cases that the activists did not want to build alliances with other groups, including trade unions and community groups. This cannot be generalized as there are examples of other camps that did. But it is quite telling that the camp in the north of England was one of the shortest occupations, lasting only six weeks.

This is the final data chapter of the book. The next chapter concludes the study as a whole. I provide a summary of how Bourdieu's technologies have helped us understand the complex interaction between the British anti-capitalist and alter-globalization movement fields on the one hand, and the social and political forces of neoliberalism on the other.

 
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