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    Being a socialist in Manchester (a Manchester case)

    Pais, Alexandre (2023) Being a socialist in Manchester (a Manchester case). In: Reshaping Youth Participation: Manchester in a European Gaze. Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 83-97. ISBN 9781800433595 (print); 9781800433588 (ebook)

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    This chapter sets out the political participation of a group of young socialists in Manchester. The analysis indicates that the young socialists’ participation was driven by a critique of the structural conditions of capitalism. The young people in this group deliberately eschewed discussions of individual stories in their group’s activism, or in recounting what brought them to the group. In doing so, they reject the place of individual needs and stories (framed here as an element of ‘identity politics’) in bringing about the societal change they believe is necessary. This is not to say that they deny the place or role of identity politics but, rather, that they want to supplement achieving change in individual categories of oppression by creating the economic (i.e. non-capitalist) conditions where all oppressions are eliminated. The young socialists’ participation in terms of their group sessions was quite formal in nature (lecture, discussion, etc.) and was concerned with education and theoretical debate, replicating practices from the socialist movement. Drawing on contemporary theory the chapter argues that the socialist students compare greatly to other young people who may be cast as ‘radically unpolitical’ because of the socialists’ sober adherence to an old ideology.

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