Contemporary articles citing Cohen J (1985) Soc Res
approach, movements, recent, model, illustrates, alternative, yet, point, explanatory, them
- Armstrong, Elizabeth & Mary Bernstein. 2008. "Culture, Power, and Institutions: a Multi-institutional Politics Approach to Social Movements." Sociological Theory. 26:1 74-99.
- We argue that critiques of political process theory are beginning to coalesce into a new approach to social movements-a ``multi-institutional politics'' approach. While the political process model assumes that domination is organized by and around one source of power, the alternative perspective views domination as organized around multiple sources of power, each of which is simultaneously material and symbolic. We examine the conceptions of social movements, politics, actors, goals, and strategies supported by each model, demonstrating that the view of society and power underlying the political process model is too narrow to encompass the diversity of contemporary change efforts. Through empirical examples, we demonstrate that the alternative approach provides powerful analytical tools for the analysis of a wide variety of contemporary change efforts.
- Garcelon, Marc. 2006. "Trajectories of Institutional Disintegration in Late-soviet Russia and Contemporary Iraq." Sociological Theory. 24:3 255-283.
- How might revolutions and other processes of institutional disintegration inform political processes preceding them ? By mapping paths of agency through processes of institutional disintegration, the trajectory improvisation model of institutional breakdown overcomes ``action-structure'' binaries by framing political revolutions as possible outcomes of such disintegrative processes. The trajectory improvisation approach expands the trajectory adjustment model of social change developed by Gil Eyal, Ivan Szelenyi, and Eleanor Townsley. An overview of political revolution in Soviet Russia between 1989 and 1991 illustrates trajectory improvisation. The recent American invasion and occupation of Iraq shows alternative routes to institutional disintegration, indicating the independence of models of institutional breakdown from those of social movements. These cases illustrate both the diversity of situations the trajectory improvisation model speaks to, and the limitation of models of trajectory adjustment, improvisation, social movements, and invasions, illustrating why such models at best enable what are called ``explanatory narratives'' of actual historical processes.
- Lichterman, P. 1995. "Beyond the Seesaw Model: Public Commitment in a Culture of Self-fulfillment." Sociological Theory. 13:3 275-300.
- Communitarian sociological theory and research of the past 30 years has often assumed that a growing culture of self-fulfillment, or `'personalism,'' is ultimately incompatible with commitment to the public good. This article argues that this `'seesaw model'' does not exhaust the possible relations between personalism and public commitment. It borrows insights from radical democratic theories to argue the existence of a form of public commitment that is enacted through, rather than impeded by, personalism. A cultural analysis that highlights everyday practices enables us to conceptualize this personalized form of public commitment, which goes unrecognized in communitarian accounts, and which gets discussed only in formal theoretical or social-psychological, terms in radical democratic theories. A case example of personalized public commitment in recent grass-roots environmentalism illustrates the limits in the seesaw model and speaks back to radical democratic theories of public commitment by illuminating how the individualized commitment they theorize may work in everyday cultural practice. I conclude with suggestions for further theoretical work on personalism.
- OLBERG, D. 1995. "The Theory of Heroic Defeats - a Mixed Motivation Approach." Sociological Theory. 13:2 178-196.
- The category of heroic action is important in both everyday life and the wider social context. This article argues that interest in the notion of heroic actions and heroic defeats also brings out an important set of sociological problems, such as disagreements on identity, norms, and rational choice explanations. Illustrations are provided from recent analyses of union militancy in Britain and Italy and of the student movement in Beijing. Different versions of the critique of rational choice theory often take norm-guided action as a point of departure. Another version of this critique is represented by theories of new social movements and identity maintenance. The article suggests that rational choice theory is more useful than some of its opponents would have it; yet the general argument favors a mired motivation approach. The discussion points out some of the strengths and limitations of different explanatory perspectives, and some of the links between them.
- DAHMS, HF. 1995. "From Creative Action to the Social Rationalization of the Economy - Schumpeter,joseph,a. Social-theory." Sociological Theory. 13:1 1-13.
- Schumpeter's writings on the transition from capitalism to socialism, on innovative entrepreneurship, on business cycles, and on the modern corporation have attracted muck attention among social scientists. Although Schumpeter's theoretical and sociological writings resemble the works of Marx, Durkheim and Weber in that they further our understanding of the rise and nature of modern society, his contribution to social theory has yet to be assessed systematically, Arguing that Schumpeter's perspective, if understood in social theoretical terms, provides a promising starting point for the sociological analysis of the changing relationship between economy and society, I concentrate on two elements of his work that are of value to theoretical sociology today: the distinction between creative action and rational action that is fundamental to his theory of the entrepreneur and his thesis that the success of the capitalist system leads to its demise.