• Happiness and Freedom in Direct Action: Critical Mass Bike Rides as Ecstatic Ritual, Play, and Temporary Autonomous Zones

    Author(s):
    Dana Williams (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Sociology of leisure, Social movements, Collective behavior, Sociology of the body, Sociology of social movements
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/tdgt-4847
    Abstract:
    Most leisure research does not consider collective action and social change, while most social movement research overlooks carnivality and spontaneity. A counter-example is the alternative bicycling movement critical mass (CM), a rebellious, liberatory leisure and cultural event. CM is goal-oriented and a libidinal expression of participant desire. This paper investigates CM’s production of happiness and freedom via three heterodox theories. Ecstatic rituals are repetitive, cathartic collective events that people engage in to express joy and flaunt convention. Political theories of play interpret individual’s physically-embodied, creative, and performative actions. Temporary autonomous zones are spatial locations of resistance to authority that evade state detection and suppression. CM – unlike standard bike races or conventional movement protest – transcends the limitations of physical exercise, lackadaisical leisure, and militant direct action. Instead it is a hybrid form of collective action, combining premeditated ritual, rebellious play, and mobile freedom-seeking.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    5 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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