Food and music matters: Affective relations and practices in social justice organizations



Publication Details

Keevers, L. & Sykes, C. (2016). Food and music matters: Affective relations and practices in social justice organizations. Human Relations, 69 (8), 1643-1668.


In this article, we focus on the organizing practices of a community-based, not-for-profit, social justice organization. We investigate how organizational participants interweave bundles of practices involving food and music to choreograph the affective relations that bring forth a sense of belonging, participation, recognition and respect between diverse people, thereby enacting social justice. This article examines the everyday, organizing practices associated with food and music and shows how not only are food and music excellent entrances to understanding organizational practices but they are also instrumental in constituting and reconstituting the performance of social justice. In this way, our article brings attention to the dimensions of knowing which are not primarily about representing but about affecting. In particular, practices of respect, recognition and belonging are rendered communicable across the boundaries of difference, dependency and inequality, forming platforms for solidarity and the understanding of differences. The article illustrates how organizing practices involving food and music play important roles in creating the conditions of possibility for diverse people to work collaboratively and respectfully together. We contend that the lived experience of organization cannot be understood without attentiveness to affect and affective relations.

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