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Social Movements: A Cognitive Approach

Social Movements: A Cognitive Approach

Ron Eyerman, Andrew Jamison

ISBN: 978-0-745-60867-9 August 1991 Polity 192 Pages


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Social movements are now a popular subject of sociological investigation. This timely book offers a new approach to the study of such movements, integrating American and European approaches. The authors are particularly concerned with the processes which transform groups of individuals into social movements, and which give social movements their active orientation. They examine the success and failure of social movements in comparative terms, comparing different historical periods as well as political cultures.

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1. Social Movements and Sociology.

2. Social Movements as Cognitive Praxis.

3. Dimensions of Cognitive Praxis.

4. Social Movements and their Intellectuals.

5. A Case Study: The American Civil Rights Movement.

6. Social Movements in Context.

7. Conclusions.




'Eyerman and Jamison have written a pathbreaking book that simultaneously places previous theories of collective behaviour in sociohistorical perspective while developing their own cognitive approach to social movements.' Choice

'Readable and well documented. I would recommend Eyerman and Jamison's book to all scholars who are interested in social movements.' ANZJS

* With its integration of both American and European approaches, this book is a highly original study of social movements.
* Eyerman and Jamison see social movements through a social theory of knowledge that is both politically and historically informed.
* The book is unique as it includes analysis of the recent forms of protest in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union as well as the American civil rights movement.
* It makes a very topical and readable book which should have wide appeal.