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Choreographies of protest, identities and political subjects in the pro- and anti-decriminalization of abortion activisms

Grant number: 19/05044-2
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): November 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Sociology - Other specific Sociologies
Principal Investigator:Regina Facchini
Grantee:Carla de Castro Gomes
Host Institution: Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero (PAGU). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The overall goal of this postdoctoral research project is to understand the contemporary practices of abortion activism in Brazil, mobilized both by the pro-legalization feminist field and by actors opposed to its decriminalization. The project is designed on two epistemological propositions. First, the study assumes that the pro and anti-decriminalization repertoires are mutually constituted in the relationships between the actors. Thus, instead of focusing on just one field, I propose to situate current disputes about abortion in Brazil in the interactions between feminist and anti-abortion activists, their different agendas and strategies. Putting in perspective the repertoires of both sides implies to question the theories and methodologies wrought in the study of social movements perceived as "progressive" and to question to what extent they apply to actors that escape this classification. In addition, analyzing how pro and anti-decriminalization repertoires are built and what are their political effects helps us understand not only the contemporary disputes over abortion but also the broader contentions surrounding the notions of citizenship and rights, in which they are situated. Second, the analysis is focused on the "choreographies of protest" used by pro and anti-decriminalization activist groups. I am interested in comparing the frameworks they mobilize, especially their bodily and emotional grammars, fundamental elements for the constitution and legitimation of any social movement and yet little explored by the Social Sciences. Both feminists and anti-abortion activists resort to corporeal and emotional performativities, and these resources are central to the production of agendas, subjects, and political boundaries. In this way, the research asks how these choreographies help produce distinct political fields around abortion. (AU)

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