Synopses & Reviews
Unlike political or economic institutions, social movements have an elusive power, but one that is no less real. This study surveys the history of the social movement, puts forward a theory of collective action to explain its surges and declines, and offers an interpretation of the power of movement that emphasizes its effects on personal lives, policy reforms and political culture. While covering cultural, organizational and personal sources of movements' power, the book emphasizes the rise and fall of social movements as part of political struggle and as the outcome of changes in political opportunity structure. This second edition has an entirely new chapter, major additions to the bibliography, new illustrative materials in many of the chapters and a new conclusion.
This study of social movements explains their power by developing a theory of collective action.
Social movements with even slim resources can often exercise a powerful influence on culture, politics and institutions. This study surveys the history of the social movement, puts forward a theory of collective action to explain its surges and declines, and offers an interpretation of the power of movement.
The book is suitable for both specialized readers in sociology, political sicence, and modern (Europeans and American) history as well as for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses on social movements. It is written clearly and simply, but not as an introductory text. Graphic and tabular material is limited and most of the technical or documentary material is relegated to extensive notes. There is a large bibliography drawing from modern history, political science and sociological studies of social movements and collective action.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Contentious politics and social movements: Part I. The Birth of the Modern Social Movement: 2. Modular collective action; 3. Print and association; 4. Statebuilding and social movements; Part II. From Contention to Social Movements: 5. Political opportunities and constraints; 6. The repertoire of contention; 7. Framing contention; 8. Mobilising structures and contentious politics; Part III. The Dynamics of Movement: 9. Cycles of contention; 10. Struggling to reform; 11. Transnational contention/conclusion: the future of social movements.