Becoming someone.” The (re)valorization of social identity through the symbolic benefits of participatory commitment

Special report—Citizens’ committees: A lot of fuss about nothing?
By Yannick Gauthier

From the perspective of the sociology of activism, this article explores the implications of participatory commitment for “regular” and “extraordinary” actors in three “Conseils citoyens” in northern France. We show that citizen participation can be a means for those involved to achieve a form of empowerment, as it makes it possible, through the distribution of symbolic benefits, to remedy the misalignments resulting from lived social experiences that have lacked recognition.

  • participatory democracy
  • conseils citoyens
  • commitment
  • motives
  • motivations
  • retributions
  • benefits
  • recognition
  • profane
  • empowerment
  • politicization
  • regular actors
  • extraordinary actors
  • conseils citoyens
  • North department (France)
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