A Predictably Obedient Riot: Postpolitics, Consumer Culture, and the English Riots of 2011

Simon Winlow, Steve Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article we attempt to develop an analysis of the English urban riots of 2011. Rather than build on the assumption of organic resistance and protopolitics, we argue that the disturbances were a brief eruption of social unrest that lacked the clear, unifying political symbolism necessary to turn objectless dissatisfaction into articulate political demands. Rather, the consumer-oriented subjects who inhabit the socioeconomic margins of late capitalism were unable to make this political move and ultimately found themselves with nowhere to take their dissatisfaction but to the shops. This speaks loudly of the current condition of subjectivity in a postpolitical era dominated by neoliberalism and liberal postmodernism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465–488
JournalCultural Politics
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

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