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In The Art of Moral Protest, James Jasper integrates diverse examples of protest—from nineteenth-century boycotts to recent movements—into a distinctive new understanding of how social movements work. Jasper highlights their creativity, not only in forging new morals but in adopting courses of action and inventing organizational forms. "A provocative perspective on the cultural implications of political and social protest."—Library Journal
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.
Every day around the world there are dozens of protests both large and small. Most groups engage the local police, some get media attention, and a few are successful. Who are these people? What do they want? What do they do to get it? What effects do they ultimately have on our world? In this lively and compelling book, James Jasper, an international expert on the cultural and emotional dimensions of social movements, shows that we cannot answer these questions until we bring culture squarely into the frame. Drawing on a broad range of examples, from the Women's Movement to Occupy and the Arab Spring, Jasper makes clear that we need to appreciate fully the protestors' points of view - in other words their cultural meanings and feelings - as well as the meanings held by other strategic players, such as the police, media, politicians, and intellectuals. In fact, we can't understand our world at all without grasping the profound impact of protest. Protest: A Cultural Introduction to Social Movements is an invaluable and insightful contribution to understanding social movements for beginners and experts alike.
Alberto Melucci brings an original perspective to research on collective action, emphasizing the role of culture and making telling connections with the experience of the individual in postmodern society. The focus is on the role of information in a world both fragmented and globalized, and topics addressed include political conflict, feminism, ecology, identity politics, power and inequality. The book builds on the author's Nomads of the Present (1989), and is a companion volume to The Playing Self (CUP, 1996).
In the United States, public talk about charity for the poor is highly moralistic, even in our era of welfare reform. But how do we understand the actual experience of caring for the poor? This study looks at the front lines of volunteer involvement with the poor and homeless to assess what volunteer work means for those who do it. Rebecca Allahyari profiles volunteers at two charities—Loaves & Fishes and The Salvation Army—to show how they think about themselves and their work, providing new ways for discussing charity and morality. Allahyari explores these agencies' differing ideological orientations and the raced, classed, and gendered contexts they provide volunteers for doing charitable work. Drawing on participant observation, intensive interviewing, and content analysis of organizational publications, she looks in particular at the process of self-improvement for these volunteers. The competing visions of charity Allahyari finds at these two organizations reveal the complicated and contradictory politics of caring for the poor in the United States today.
Providing a unique blend of cases, concepts, and essential readings The Social Movements Reader, Third Edition, delivers key classic and contemporary articles and book selections from around the world. Includes the latest research on contemporary movements in the US and abroad, including the Arab spring, Occupy, and the global justice movement Provides original texts, many of them classics in the field, which have been edited for the non-technical reader Combines the strengths of a reader and a textbook with selected readings and extensive editorial material Sidebars offer concise definitions of key terms, as well as biographies of famous activists and chronologies of several key movements Requires no prior knowledge about social movements or theories of social movements
Many U.S. Christians were profoundly moved by the liberation struggles in Central America in the 1980s. Most learned about the situation from missionaries who had worked in the area and witnessed the repression firsthand. These missionaries, Sharon Erickson Nepstad shows, employed the institutional and cultural resources of Christianity to seize the attention of American congregations and remind them of the moral obligations of their faith. Drawing on archival data and in-depth interviews with activists in ten separate solidarity organizations around the country, Nepstad offers a rich analysis of the experiences of religious leaders and church members in the solidarity movement. She explores the moral meaning of protest and the ways in which clergy used religious rituals, martyr stories, and biblical teachings to establish a link between faith and activism. She looks at the factors that transformed missionaries into skilled leaders who were able to translate the Central American conflicts into Christian themes and a religious language familiar to U.S. congregations. She also offers insights into the unique challenges of organizing on the transnational level and shows how the solidarity movement made U.S. policy towards Central America one of the most hotly contested issues in American politics during the 1980s. Unpacking the implications of her study for the field of collective action, Nepstad stresses the importance of the individual human agents who shape, and are shaped by, the structures and cultures in which they operate. She argues that working in and through the church gave supporters of solidarity moral credibility as well as a rich source of symbolic, human, and material resources that enabled them to reach across national boarders, motivating others to act upon their deeply held moral convictions. Shedding new light on the genesis and evolution of this important activist movement, Convictions of the Soul will be of interest to students and scholars of social movements, religion, and politics.

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