© 2009 – Routledge
404 pages | 40 B/W Illus.
Political protest and social movements are ubiquitous phenomena. This book focuses on the current theoretical approaches that aim at explaining them: the theory of collective action, the resource mobilization perspective, political opportunity structure theory, the identity approach, the framing perspective, and the dynamics of contention approach. The book has three objectives: (1) Many basic concepts like political opportunities or identity are not clearly defined. It is further often a matter of interpretation what factors are supposed to affect which phenomena. The first aim is therefore to provide a detailed introduction to and a clear restatement of the theories. Only then is it possible to assess and improve them. (2) For each theory the major strengths and weaknesses are discussed, and various modifications and extensions are suggested. (3) Building on these analyses, it is shown how the theories can be integrated into a single theoretical paradigm: the structural-cognitive model.
"…an ideal resource for developing courses in social movements because of its systematic and detailed analysis of theories. It is also a solid foundation for deconstructing social movement perspectives" —Andreas Hoffbauer and Howard Ramos, Dalhousie University in the Canadian Journal of Sociology 35, 4
Part 1: What Kind of Theory Do We Need and What Is a Good Theory? Part 2: Protest, Social Movements and Collective Action: Conceptual Clarifications and the Subject of the Book Part 3: Group Size, Selective Incentives, and Collective Action Part 4: Protest and Social Movements as Collective Action Part 5: The Resource Mobilization Perspective Part 6: Political Opportunity Structures, Protest and Social Movements Part 7: Collective Identity and Social Movement Activity Part 8: How Framing Influences Mobilization and Protest Part 9: Identity, Framing and Cognitive Balance: Toward a New Theory of Identity and Framing Part 10: The Dynamics of Contention Approach - Retreat to History? Part 11: The Structural-Cognitive Model: A Synthesis of Collective Action, Resource Mobilization, Political Opportunity, Identity, and Framing Perspectives Part 12: General Discussion, Conclusion, and an Agenda for Future Research