Provides a critical assessment of some of the key sociological approaches to the study of social movements.
"...effectively demonstrates the enduring importance of 'classical' social movement theory...and provides a cutting edge critical review of recent theoretical developments. This is one of the most important general theoretical texts on social movements for some years." - Paul Bagguley, University of LeedsWhy and how do social movements emerge? In which ways are social movements analysed? Can our understanding be enhanced by new perspectives?Making Sense of Social Movements offers a clear and comprehensive overview of the key sociological approaches to the study of social movements. The author argues that each of these approaches makes an important contribution to our understanding of social movements but that none is adequate on its own. In response he argues for a new approach which draws together key insights within the solid foundations of Pierre Bourdieu's social theory of practice.This new approach transcends the barriers which still often divide European and North American perspectives of social movements, and also those which divide recent approaches from the older 'collective behaviour' approach. The result is a theoretical framework which is uniquely equipped for the demands of modern social movement analysis. The clear and concise style of the text, as well as its neat summaries of key concepts and approaches, will make this book invaluable for undergraduate courses. It will also be an essential reference for researchers.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1 (16)
Social Unrest, movement culture and identity: 17 (22)
the symbolic interactionists
Smelser's value-added approach 39 (17)
Rational actor theory 56 (21)
Resources, networks and organizations 77 (28)
Opportunities, cognition and biography 105(22)
Repertoires, frames and cycles 127(22)
New social movements 149(19)
Social movements and the theory of practice: 168(24)
a new synthesis