In my presentation I will address the politics of grief that develops as a result of grieving mothers’ mobilization in response to the political regimes/leaders responsible for their sons disappearance or death. Drawing on empirical examples from the Palestine, Nicaragua, China, Chile, Argentine (and if time permits, Russia) I will discuss the conflictual issues that are at stake for the mothers and the political leaders, making references to their respective attempts to define whether or not expressions of grief are at all legitimate. I will also show that they carry out conflicts about its locations, forms of expression, duration, and attendant frames.
Helena Flam is Professor of Sociology at the University of Leipzig since 1993. 1982 Ph.D. Columbia University, Department of Sociology, 1984–1985 Research at SIAR, SIFO, and at Uppsala University, 1985–1987 Research at the Swedish Collegium for the Advancement of the Social Sciences, 1986–1990 Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Research, Cologne, 1990–1993 Assistant Professor at the University of Konstanz. Her publications include: Mosaic of Fear: Poland and East Germany before 1989 (1998); The Emotional ‘Man’ and the Problem of Collective Action (2000); Pink, Purple, Green: Women’s, Religious, Environmental, and Gay/Lesbian Movements in Central Europe Today (ed. 2001); Soziologie der Emotionen. Eine Einführung (2002); Emotions and Social Movements (ed. with Debra King, 2005); Migranten in Deutschland: Statistiken – Fakten – Diskurse (ed. 2007); Rule Systems Theory: Explorations and Applications (ed. with Marcus Carson, 2008).