Habitus and social movements: how militarism affects organizational repertoires

Aya Shoshan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


2010–2012 were years of global protests. This wave of mobilization has been celebrated for its horizontal, leaderless, and participatory character. But this was not the case in all countries. In Israel, which saw the largest social contention in its history, the protest was marked by a dominant and centralized leadership and by cooperation with institutional actors and corporate media. Based on the study of the Israeli case, this research seeks to contribute to explanations of how movements’ organizational forms develop. Social movement scholars have shown that activists’ forms of organization are limited to a familiar repertoire of action. Building on previous scholarship, I argue that activists’ organizational repertoires are shaped by a habitus that familiarizes and routinizes certain practices. But while existing scholarship focuses on how organizational habitus develops within the field of activism, I expand the applicability of habitus and show how movement repertoires are also influenced by habit in fields unrelated and even antagonistic to activism. Based on participant observations and interviews, I show how in the Israeli case, militarism formed part of activists’ organizational habitus and contributed to the 2011 protests’ centralized and hierarchical character.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-158
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Movement Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 4 Mar 2018


  • Habitus
  • Israel
  • militarism
  • organizational practices
  • repertoires
  • social protest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science


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