Intergenerational Transmission of Social Movement Activism in Bahrain

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This article examines the intergenerational transmission of social movement activism in Bahrain, with a focus on the human rights movement and al-Khawaja family. The research argues that intergenerational transmission and the inheritance of capital, in a family setting, is a vital resource for the local and transnational movement. Specifically, the research investigates multiple generations of activists from the same families to unearth the effects of activism running across the various generations. In alignment with a growing trend in social movement scholarship, the article seeks a better understanding of the effects that authoritarian conditions have on social movements. The research uses a Bourdeusian analytical framework and is based upon sixteen interviews with three different generations of Bahraini human rights activists, retrieving their biographical trajectories. By approaching the intergenerational transmission of social movement activism and the inheritance of capital as constitutive of activists’ radical habitus, this paper demonstrates that the family is a crucial resource for social movements acting within the repressive circumstances of an authoritarian state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalMiddle East Critique
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2023


  • Activism; Bahrain; Family; Intergenerational Transmission; Social Movements


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