Citation

Negotiating Ritual and Revolution: The Political Activism of the Dames des Halles, 1789-1791

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Abstract:

As the French revolutionaries struggled to reimagine politics and society, multiple groups attempted to capture political influence as the voice of the popular classes. Among the forerunners were the Dames des Halles, Parisian market women who struggled to maintain their Old Regime position as ritual representatives of the people. My paper argues that as they renegotiated their political legitimacy, the Dames engaged in sporadic political activism in which they used old ritual forms of their political practice, such as compliments, bouquets, and processions, and imbued them with new meaning. With each public iteration, the Dames shifted their ritual legitimacy towards revolutionary sovereignty and forged a space to maintain their influence in the new systems of political exchange. The extra-institutional nature of the Dames’ organization particularly allows us to examine how popular groups reconceptualized their position in the body politic. The Dames des Halles attempted to align themselves with revolutionary institutions to appropriate their legitimacy while loaning them their own image of bonnes citoyennes as a marker of popular support. To accompany these changes in their use of traditional forms, the Dames also discursively renegotiated their political position by employing the rhetoric of sovereignty and redefining the nature of their relationship with officials, the king, and the people. From 1789 to 1791, the political strategy of the Dames was two-fold: to evoke their customary influence through exceptional and unregulated gestures, and to renegotiate their public image by integrating revolutionary elements into their older forms to create a new hybrid legitimacy.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

de (69), des (68), dame (68), hall (55), la (47), polit (40), marchand (35), revolutionari (29), pari (24), new (23), public (18), l (18), les (18), king (18), le (17), 1789 (16), commune (15), franc (15), 1791 (14), que (14), legitimaci (14),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399614_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Jarvis, Katie. "Negotiating Ritual and Revolution: The Political Activism of the Dames des Halles, 1789-1791" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, Apr 15, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399614_index.html>

APA Citation:

Jarvis, K. L. , 2010-04-15 "Negotiating Ritual and Revolution: The Political Activism of the Dames des Halles, 1789-1791" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399614_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As the French revolutionaries struggled to reimagine politics and society, multiple groups attempted to capture political influence as the voice of the popular classes. Among the forerunners were the Dames des Halles, Parisian market women who struggled to maintain their Old Regime position as ritual representatives of the people. My paper argues that as they renegotiated their political legitimacy, the Dames engaged in sporadic political activism in which they used old ritual forms of their political practice, such as compliments, bouquets, and processions, and imbued them with new meaning. With each public iteration, the Dames shifted their ritual legitimacy towards revolutionary sovereignty and forged a space to maintain their influence in the new systems of political exchange. The extra-institutional nature of the Dames’ organization particularly allows us to examine how popular groups reconceptualized their position in the body politic. The Dames des Halles attempted to align themselves with revolutionary institutions to appropriate their legitimacy while loaning them their own image of bonnes citoyennes as a marker of popular support. To accompany these changes in their use of traditional forms, the Dames also discursively renegotiated their political position by employing the rhetoric of sovereignty and redefining the nature of their relationship with officials, the king, and the people. From 1789 to 1791, the political strategy of the Dames was two-fold: to evoke their customary influence through exceptional and unregulated gestures, and to renegotiate their public image by integrating revolutionary elements into their older forms to create a new hybrid legitimacy.


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