Dr Cristiana Olcese


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My research is concerned with how culture (as locus of meanings and meaning making, bound to contribute to both control and empowerment) intersects social movements. While my early research focused on mobilisation and critically contributed to literature emphasising the mobilising and instrumental nature of social movements, my current research aims to extend the understanding of social movements beyond mobilisation. By exploring how engagement with embodied experiences in the fields of art, work, education, personal relations, medicine, etc. led to the development of innovative practices and perspectives, it aims to identify under what circumstances these changes acquire social and political relevance.

I completed my PhD at Reading with a thesis on the role of creative practices in protest. Between 2010 and 2012, I was based at The Centre for Citizenship, Globalization and Governance at Southampton as an ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, followed by a research position in the ESRC-funded collaborative project Caught in the Act of Protest, comparing major protests in eight European countries. I then spent three years as Fellow in Sociology at the London School of Economics exploring further the political significance of less instrumental, more creative, existential and embodied approaches to social change. During my fellowships I spent time as visiting scholar at Emory, US, the Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies, Chile, and Gothenburg, Sweden. In Manchester I am associated with the research group movements@manchester and the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives.

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology - Social movements, protest, identity & subjectivity, culture, everyday practices, embodiment, social aesthetic

Related information


Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Organising a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etc

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