Analyzing modern protests through a biopolitical framework
LE3 .A278 2015
Bachelor of Arts
Contemporary protests in Western society deserve examination as they are typically met with immense criticism. Quite often they are dismissed as either useless or unsuccessful. In order to search for value in modern protests that is being dismissed, I applied the biopolitical framework to the protests of Occupy Wall Street and to the protests in Ferguson, MO. The biopolitical perspective marks the transition to life in society being governed at the level of the population. I engaged with power, security, and the state in my analysis of biopolitics and protests. The biopolitical framework allowed for a more useful understanding how society is structured in the post-‐ modern era. Through this application, I am able to identify value in these two modern protests and how they resist the structures of society. The value identified often does not get included within usual analyses of protests. This provided the basis for an engagement with Occupy and Ferguson that deviates from the typical. I prove through this thesis that applying the biopolitical framework to contemporary protests is more useful as an analysis than typical commentaries on protests. This thesis proves that by dismissing protests such as Occupy and Ferguson, we are removing opportunities for critical discussion and reflection in society.
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