Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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The notion of horizontal, “structureless” organisation continues to hold resounding appeal for those seeking to create more egalitarian societies. Given horizontality’s comfortable status as the golden child of contemporary social movements, in this article we ask to what extent symmetrical relations may materialize discursively within an ostensibly horizontal group. To do so, we analyse two narratives of resistance which emerge during a meeting of bicycle advocates in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Uniting insider and outsider perspectives, our analysis suggests that gendered asymmetries are simultaneously contested and reified during the activists’ narrative and interactional practice. As such, this study highlights the need to take a critical stance towards discursive practice in order to further understand the construction of horizontality. In so doing, it may then be possible to build communities which foster minority groups’ active participation and the very transformative practice sought out by those who engage in social movements.


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