Bridging the worlds of activism and academiathis volume combines social movement theory with the real experiences of activists
Cultural Politics and Social Movements
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edited by Marcy Darnovsky, Barbara Epstein and Richard Flacks
Outstanding Academic Book, Choice, 1996
Bridging the worlds of activism and academia-social movement theory informed with the real experiences of activists-this volume of accessible essays brings together insights from European New Social Movement theorists, U.S. scholars of social movements, and activists involved in social movements from the 1960s to the 1990s.
"Like so much else about social movements, the meaning of the term is itself often hotly contested. For us, social movements are collective efforts by socially and politically subordinated people to challenge the conditions and assumptions of their lives. These efforts are a distinctive sort of social activity: collective action becomes a "movement" when participants refuse to accept the boundaries of established institutional rules and routinized roles. Single instances of such popular defiance don't make a movement; the term refers to persistent, patterned, and widely distributed collective challenges to the status quo.
"While traditional definitions usually focus on movement challenges to political structures, economic arrangements, and institutional rules, social movementsperhaps especially contemporary onesalso take on established cultural categories and social identities. Accordingly, social movements appear to be simultaneously spontaneous and strategic, expressive (of emotion and need) and instrumental (seeking some concrete ends), unruly and organized, political and cultural. The seeming contradictoriness of movement activity therefore challenges not only political systems and cultural status quos but also many of our explanatory frameworks and analytic categories. When social movements are surging, both social order and social theory are called into question."
From the Introduction
Part I: Activists and Academics
Part II: Cultural Politics after the Counterculture
Part III: Identity Politics and Activist Projects
Part IV: Searching for Strategy: Dilemmas of Activism
About the Contributors
Marcy Darnovsky is Visiting Lecturer at the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies, Sonoma State University and Hayward State University.
Barbara Epstein, Professor in the History of Consciousness Board at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is author of Political Protest and Cultural Revolution: Nonviolent Direct Action in the 1970s and 1980s.
Richard Flacks is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the author of several books, including Beyond the Barricades: The Sixties Generation Grows Up (with Jack Whalen, Temple).
Contributors: Alice Echols, Barbara Epstein, Richard A. Cloward, Marcy Darnovsky, Jeffrey Escoffier, Ilene Rose Feinman, Richard Flacks, Cynthia Hamilton, Allen Hunter, L. A. Kauffman, Rebecca E. Klatch, Margit Mayer, Alberto Melucci, Bronislaw Misztal, Osha Neumann, Frances Fox Piven, Craig Reinarman, Roland Roth, Arlene Stein, Mindy Spatt, Andrew Szasz, Noél Sturgeon, Howard Winant.