March 3, 2006

Profile of Manuel Castells

Since we are reading The Power of Identity for our class, I thought that some of you might be interested in a brief biographical sketch of Manuel Castells. You can view his profile page on the Annenberg School, USC website. His curriculum vitae also makes for an interesting read.

January 22, 2006

Defining Social Movements

Usually when I start exploring a concept, I always try to begin with some basic definitions--to help ground my thinking even if these change as I go through the project itself. Here is a collection of some I had from Crossley: Making Sense of Social Movements, 2002 (sorry for an incomplete bib…pulling these from notes I had from another project). GIven our lecture last time about different ways to study social movements in the academy, we can imagine which orientation these definitions were developed from.

Blumer (1969): Social movements can be viewed as collective enterprises seeking to establish a new order of life. They have their inception in a condition of unrest, and derive their motive power on one hand from dissatisfaction with the current form of life, and on the other hand, from wishes and hopes for a new system of living. The career of a social movement depicts the emergence of a new order of life.

Eyerman and Jamison (1991): Social movements are…best conceived of as a temporary public spaces, as moments of collective creation that provide societies with ideas, identities, and even ideals.

Tarrow (1998): Contentious politics occurs when ordinary people, often in league with more influential citizens, join forces in confrontation with elites, authorities, and opponents…when backed by dense social networks and galvanized by culturally resonant, action oriented symbols, contentious politics leads to sustained interaction with opponents. The result is a social movement.

Della Porta and Diani (1999): Informal networks based on shared beliefs and solidarity which mobilize about conflictual issues through the frequent use of various protests

Crossley: “Part of movement in social movements is a transformation in the habits, including linguistic and basic domestic habits, that shape our everyday lives? (8)

A process whereby several different actors, be they individuals, informal groups, and/or organisations, come to elaborate, through either joint action and/or communication, a shared definition of themselves as being part of the same side in a social conflict. (Mario Diani, “The Concept of Social Movement,? The Sociological Review, (1992), 2.)