Book Progress Report, Week 30

23 Jun

So I just finished re-reading the four body chapters from the book manuscript. I, predictably, vacillated between feeling like “ok, this is great” and “ugh this is all I have to show for the past 5 years of work?” But overall I’m feeling pretty good. Oddly, I felt like the weakest chapter was the first – this is odd because this is the one that was recently published in a fairly prestigious journal. I think my trouble with it is that it is more heavily descriptive than the other three and thus maybe *feels* less sophisticated than the others. I also kind of hate it because it feels the most “let me tell you about anarchists, which I assume you know nothing about,” which may be actually appropriate for most of the potential audience of the book, but the imaginary anarchist reader in my head will hate it because it will seem so elementary/weirdly exoticizing. I probably just need to get over that though.

My big breakthrough today was realizing that the fourth body chapter, on identity construction and performance, will actually function really well as the *first* body chapter. This will solve a few problems at the same time —  it will push the more descriptive Consumption chapter back one, so it will be more buried in the middle of the manuscript. And it will put one of the more important and broad theoretical contributions of the research more up front, which will remedy my idiosyncrasy of saving up my bombshell points and dropping them on the reader as if I’ve written a suspense novel instead of an academic book.

As I was reviewing the body chapters, I made a point to identify the major theoretical arguments of the whole manuscript and the major literatures on which I have drawn/to which I see this work as contributing. (I’m going to type those out here on this blog, but in a separate post.)

I guess my goal for the next week is to start writing up the first part of the Lifestylism chapter/conclusion, which will marshall evidence from internal discourses about lifestyle anarchism as well as bring theory (from social movement studies, queer studies, consumer activism studies, and subculture studies) to bear on the debates around lifestyle politics within anarchist movements.

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