Marco Pitzalis, Filippo M. Zerilli

«Pastore sardu non t'arrendas como!» The Sardinian Shepherds' Social Movement: Alterity, Resistance, Complicity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: alterity, complicity, resistance, Sardinian shepherds, social movements.

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted within Movimento Pastori Sardi, a social movement of sheep herders mobilizing to protect their economic interests and affirming their social role and political agency, this article explores «alterity», «resistance» and «complicity» and their intertwined social dynamics. Objectified in academic discourse, entangled in global market constraints and disciplinary apparatuses of state and non-state institutions and agencies, shepherds have been conventionally represented as the ideal type of Sardinian cultural authenticity as well as of its incorrigible backwardness. The article shows how these and other images of pastoral alterity are resisted, appropriated and manipulated by the Shepherds' Movement in order to struggle against hegemonic state and market structures and ideologies. Albeit structurally dominated, the Movement succeeded in creating new spaces for maneuvering and campaigning for social action in both the economic and the political field. The article finally argues that the concepts and practices of complicity and categorical connivance with hegemonic power structures are crucial in order to scrutinize the complex social dynamics of subjection, subjectivation and social recognition at stake.

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