Are identity politics good or bad for social movements?
The Identity Dilemma
Social Movements and Collective Identity
Search the full text of this book
edited by Aidan McGarry and James M. Jasper
Collective identities are politically necessary, or at least useful, as banners for recruiting others and engaging opponents and the state. However, not every member fits or accepts the label in the same way or to the same degree. The Identity Dilemma provides eight diverse case studies of social movements to show the benefits, risks, and tradeoffs when a group develops a strong sense of collective identity.
The editors and contributors to this pathbreaking volume examine how collective identities can provide powerful advantages but also generate conflicts. The various chapters help to develop our understanding of collective identity from how strategic identities are developed for protest groups to how stigmatized groups negotiate identity dilemmas.
Ultimately, The Identity Dilemma contributes a new strategic approach to understanding social movements that highlights the choices and tensions that groups inevitably face in articulating their ideas and interests.
Contributors include: Marian Barnes, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Umut Korkut, Elzbieta Korolczuk, John Nagle, Clare Saunders, Neil Stammers, Marisa Tramontano, Huub Van Baar, and the editors.
"The Identity Dilemma brings numerous scholars together to take a current look at social movements and the issues collective identity formation pose for such groups....Through a cross-disciplinary, Western-oriented investigation, their volume demonstrates how collective identities continue to have such importance today. In fact, one strength is the breadth in investigations this volume provides.... The Identity Dilemma is unique for encouraging the employment of more methods of inquiry in the study of social movements.... (T)he tour de force discussion of the social movement literature...makes it a great introduction to the subject for graduates and upper level undergraduates."
Introduction: The Identity Dilemma, Social Movements, and Contested Identity • James M. Jasper and Aidan McGarry
Part I: Strategic Identities in Protest Movements
Part II: Stigmatized Groups and Collective Identity Dilemmas
Aidan McGarry is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Brighton, UK. His research focuses on marginalized minority groups and has been published in journals including Ethnicities, Ethnic and Migration Studies, Critical Social Policy, Ethnopolitics and Social Movement Studies.
James M. Jasper teaches sociology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His books include Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements and The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements.
In the series
Politics, History, and Social Change, edited by John C. Torpey.
This series will disseminate serious works that analyze the social changes that have transformed our world during the twentieth century and beyond. The main topics to be addressed include international migration; human rights; the political uses of history; the past and future of the nation-state; decolonization and the legacy of imperialism; and global inequality. The series will also translate into English outstanding works by scholars writing in other languages.