My year pooping in a bucket : lifestyle, cultural, and social movements in the “node” at Dancing Rabbit ecovillage
What happens between the most visible aspects of social movements? When protestors put down their signs, petitioners hang up their clipboards, and movement organizations contract, there are several theories about what happens to the social and political currents that made them possible in the first place. Theories of social movements often rely on an understanding of political cycles, resource availability, or social strain. Often, movement actors are portrayed as “activated” for a given campaign, only to return to inactivity after it concludes. Beyond those observations lie permanent communities of activists whose forms of political engagement are not inherently ties to shifting winds of political opportunity and are deeply embedded in the everyday practices of lifestyle. This dissertation profiles one such group, Dancing Rabbit ecovillage, as a social movement “node,” containing hallmarks of cultural, lifestyle, and social movements. Members of a node, like the one portrayed in this work, follow a different path towards being activated that offers a different account of how political work is drawn from personal consciousness. The concept of the social movement node is developed as an alternative explanation for the persistence of activism, one which helps to develop and elaborate a long-developing understanding of personal and political spheres are overlapping and immutably connected rather than separate and opposed. I detail the village's claim to the nature and future of society through an ethnographic explanation that moves through its own cycles based on a seasonal metaphor, rather than on the terms of national trends.