Individual Paper: Constructing narratives, claiming rights
India has a long history of social movements for a variety of purposes. In the context of forest rights, years of political struggle and grassroots level mobilization resulted in the passing of the Forest Rights Act in 2006. While the Act is widely viewed as a step towards undoing years of injustice to Adivasis and other forest dwelling communities the level of implementation remains minimal, to a large extent due to lack of awareness and capabilities for action in affected communities. This gap has been adressed by forest rights movements through different platforms and strategies.
Drawing on empirical data from field work in Jharkhand, India, this paper will explore how narratives are employed by social movements in the process of claiming forest rights. Combining a theoretical and empirical approach to narratives, the functions and conditions of social movement narratives provide analytical depth to the process of identity-building and the internal dynamics of activism. Conceptualizing narratives as socially produced acts that function as a means to stimulate action and construct identities, the paper present a typology of narratives derived from empirical findings. It is argued that narratives serve a particular purpose for engaging communities in the process of claiming rights.
Start time: 11:30
Room: Moriskan (Stora Salongen)
Track: Indigenous Movements