What is a Social Movement?
April 2014, Polity
What is a Social Movement? traces how the study of movements such as these - of their structures, their ideas, and their repertoires of protest - have grown in recent years to become a major focus in the social sciences. It deftly navigates the organizational, ideational, and cultural complexity of political and social movements, and offers a succinct but comprehensive overview of the hows, whys, and wheretofores of studying them. The book analyzes how politics and culture frequently intersect as people participate in movements that call for change and pursue group interests. By focusing on movement organizations and networks, on what they do, and how they articulate their ideas of justice and collective interests, What is a Social Movement? lays the essential groundwork for understanding this significant and exciting field of research, where it came from, and where it is headed.
1 What is a Social Movement? 1
2 The Study of Social Movements 26
3 What is a Political Movement? 49
4 What is a Cultural Movement? 72
5 What Do Social Movements Do? 94
6 Researching Social Movements 118
7 Where are Social Movements Headed? 139
''The highly abstract concept of social movement, its main
dimensions and the various forms it takes in the real world come
alive in this excellent introduction to social movement studies.
Hank Johnston presents a concise, easy to read, up-to-date and
thorough overview over this particularly flourishing field of the
Hanspeter Kriesi, European University Institute
''The momentous events of 2011 in the Arab world have started a
wave of global protest that is not likely to recede soon. Hank
Johnston s timely new book provides us with the tools to make
sense of recent developments, and connect them to earlier phases of
contention. Mapping both theoretical and research approaches,
drawing from an impressive array of contentious episodes across
time and space, and profiting from Johnston s deep grasp of
cultural processes and social movement performances,
What is a Social Movement? will be essential reading for
specialists and lay readers alike.''
Mario Diani, University of Trento and ICREA-UPF Barcelona
''Few scholars have gone as far as Hank Johnston in bridging
various strands of the social movement literature. This book
combines insights from structural, organizational, and cultural
theories to give a fresh look at social movement analysis.''
Marco Giugni, University of Geneva
''This is a comprehensive, engaging, and beautifully written
introduction to the study of social movements. It is one of the
best undergraduate texts in the field, but it would also be an
invaluable source for graduate students and scholars looking for a
concise review of the major theoretical perspectives and debates in
Verta Taylor, University of California Santa Barbara
"Johnston provides a nuanced understanding of contemporary society through the study of social movements, looking at them in theory and practice from a broad perspective."
Political Studies Review