Putting gender on the agenda in Rio de Janeiro
subtly switching gears in discussions of bicycle advocacy
Keywords:social movements, narrative analysis, gendered performances, violence, postfeminist
Considerable scholarly attention has been devoted to the investigation of language and gendered performances in the workplace, particularly in the Global North. However, as yet few studies have examined such dynamics in the context of contemporary social movements. Drawing on (auto)ethnographic observations and audio recordings, this article takes a critical look at the negotiation of meaning in public debates held by bicycle advocates in Rio de Janeiro. The gendered performances which arise from small stories suggest that female participants find themselves in a ‘double bind’ as they seek to raise awareness of the gendered violence they experience whilst simultaneously adhering to the discursive norms of the movement. Such performances may be understood as characteristic of a postfeminist sensibility in which everyday violence is mitigated in order to project a courageous, resilient subject undeterred by such threats.
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