Contemporary articles citing Gamson W (1975) Strategy Social Prot
movement, provides, concept, choice, dynamics, public, action, states, part, key
- Hart-Brinson, Peter. 2012. "Civic Recreation and a Theory of Civic Production." Sociological Theory. 30:2 130-147.
- The debate on civic decline inspired by Putnam's ``bowling alone'' thesis exposed an important limitation in three dominant conceptions of the civic. Whether conceptualized as a locus, type, or motivation for action, the boundaries distinguishing the civic from other categories of political action are permeable and indistinct. This article develops a theory of civic production to better account for the inherent normativity and ``porousness'' of this analytic category. I conceptualize the civic as a variable, contingent outcome or product of a contentious performance undertaken in some venue for some reason. The phenomenon of ``civic recreation,'' a form of fund-raising that combines a leisure activity with a public cause, underscores the necessity of a theory of civic production. I draw from social movement theory and from ethnographic data from one fitness fund-raiser to illustrate some of the key processes and outcomes for which a theory of civic production must account.
- Goldstone, Jack & Bert Useem. 2012. "Putting Values and Institutions Back Into the Theory of Strategic Action Fields." Sociological Theory. 30:1 37-47.
- Neil Fligstein and Doug McAdam have presented a new theory of how collective action creates the structure and dynamics of societies. At issue is the behavior of social movements, organizations, states, political parties, and interest groups. They argue that all of these phenomena are produced by social actors (which may be individuals or groups) involved in strategic action. This allows Fligstein and McAdam to advance a unified theory of ``strategic action fields.'' This article takes issue with aspects of Fligstein and McAdam's important contribution. We argue that that all organizations are not essentially the same; in addition to the location and interactions of their strategic actors, their dynamics are shaped and distinguished by differing values and norms, by the autonomy of institutions embedded in strategic action fields, and by the fractal relationships that nested fields have to broader principles of justice and social organization that span societies. We also criticize the view that social change can be conceptualized solely in terms of shifting configurations of actors in strategic action fields. Rather, any theory of social action must distinguish between periods of routine contention under the current institutions and norms and exceptional challenges to the social order that aim to transform those institutions and norms.
- Jansen, Robert. 2011. "Populist Mobilization: a New Theoretical Approach to Populism." Sociological Theory. 29:2 75-96.
- Sociology has long shied away from the problem of populism. This may be due to suspicion about the concept or uncertainty about how to fit populist cases into broader comparative matrices. Such caution is warranted: the existing interdisciplinary literature has been plagued by conceptual confusion and disagreement. But given the recent resurgence of populist politics in Latin America and elsewhere, sociology can no longer afford to sidestep such analytical challenges. This article moves toward a political sociology of populism by identifying past theoretical deficiencies and proposing a new, practice-based approach that is not beholden to pejorative common sense understandings. This approach conceptualizes populism as a mode of political practice-as populist mobilization. Its utility is demonstrated through an application to mid-twentieth-century Latin American politics. The article concludes by sketching an agenda for future research on populist mobilization in Latin America and beyond.
- Fligstein, Neil & Doug McAdam. 2011. "Toward a General Theory of Strategic Action Fields." Sociological Theory. 29:1 1-26.
- In recent years there has been an outpouring of work at the intersection of social movement studies and organizational theory. While we are generally in sympathy with this work, we think it implies a far more radical rethinking of structure and agency in modern society than has been realized to date. In this article, we offer a brief sketch of a general theory of strategic action fields (SAFs). We begin with a discussion of the main elements of the theory, describe the broader environment in which any SAF is embedded, consider the dynamics of stability and change in SAFs, and end with a respectful critique of other contemporary perspectives on social structure and agency.
- Li, JL. 2002. "State Fragmentation: Toward a Theoretical Understanding of the Territorial Power of the State." Sociological Theory. 20:2 139-156.
- In existing theories of revolution, the state is narrowly defined as an administrative entity, and state breakdown simply refers to the disintegration of a given political regime. But this narrow definition cannot deal with this question: Why, in a revolutionary situation, do some states become fragmented and others remain unified? I would therefore argue for the broadening of the concept of state breakdown to include the territorial power of the state and to treat the latter as a key analytical dimension in the study of state fragmentation. The dynamics of territorial state power involve the control of critical territories and valuable resources associated with the spatial position of a given state in the interstate system. A strong territorial state is able to maintain its organizational coerciveness and territorial integrity, whereas a weak territorial state is vulnerable to fragmentation. The overall state crisis derives from the accumulated effects of geopolitical strain by which territorial fragmentation unfolds.
- Fligstein, N. 2001. "Social Skill and the Theory of Fields." Sociological Theory. 19:2 105-125.
- The problem of the relationship between actors and the social structures in which they are embedded is central to sociological theory. This paper suggests that the ``new institutionalist ``focus on fields, domains, or games provides an alternative view of how to think about this problem by focusing on the construction of loca( orders. This paper criticizes the conception of actors in both rational choice and sociological versions of these theories. A more sociological view of action, what is called ``social skill,'' is developed. The idea of social skill originates in symbolic interactionism and is defined as the ability to induct cooperation in others. This idea is elaborated to suggest how actors are important to the construction and reproduction of local orders. I show how, its elements already inform existing work. Finally I show how the idea can sensitize scholars to the role of actors in empirical work.
- Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332.
- Recent work by political sociologists and social movement theorists extend our understanding of how religious institutions contribute to expanding democracy, but nearly all analyze religious institutions as institutions; few focus directly on what religion qua religion might contribute. This article strives to illuminate the impact of religious culture per se, extending recent work on religion and democratic life by a small group of social movement scholars trained also in the sociology of religion. In examining religion's democratic impact, an explicitly cultural analysis inspired by the new approach to political culture developed by historical sociologists and cultural analysts of democracy is used to show the power of this approach and to provide a fuller theoretical account of how cultural dynamics shape political outcomes. The article examines religious institutions as generators of religious culture, presents a theoretical model of how religious cultural elements are incorporated into social movements and so shape their internal political cultures, and discusses how this in turn shapes their impact in the public realm. This model is then applied to a key site of democratic struggle: four efforts to promote social justice among low-income urban residents of the United States, including the most widespread such effort-faith-based community organizing.
- RHOMBERG, C. 1995. "Collective Actors and Urban Regimes - Class Formation and the 1946 Oakland General Strike." Theory and Society. 24:4 567-594.
- Kauppi, N. 2003. "Bourdieu's Political Sociology and the Politics of European Integration." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 775-789.
- The purpose of this article is to explore what Bourdieu's political sociology could bring to the study of European integration. I first present, very briefly, some of the traditional approaches in European integration studies. Then I move to my interpretation of Bourdieu's structural constructivist(1) theory of politics through a discussion of political capital and political field, drawing parallels between these concepts and some of Max Weber's ideas. In the third part, while discussing the works of some scholars inspired by Bourdieu's theory, I present some structural constructivist studies of European integration. Structural constructivism provides theoretical tools for a critical analysis of European integration.
- Goldstone, JA. 2004. "More Social Movements or Fewer? Beyond Political Opportunity Structures to Relational Fields." Theory and Society. 33:3-4 333-365.
- If social movements are an attempt by ``outsiders'' to gain leverage within politics, then one might expect the global spread of democracy to reduce social movement activity. This article argues the reverse. Granted, many past social movements, such as women's rights and civil rights, were efforts to empower the disenfranchised. However, this is not typical. Rather, social movements and protest tactics are more often part of a portfolio of efforts by politically active leaders and groups to influence politics. Indeed, as representative governance spreads, with the conviction by all parties that governments should respond to popular choice, then social movements and protest will also spread, as a normal element of democratic politics. Social movements should therefore not be seen as simply a matter of repressed forces fighting states; instead they need to be situated in a dynamic relational field in which the ongoing actions and interests of state actors, allied and counter-movement groups, and the public at large all influence social movement emergence, activity, and outcomes.
- Gerteis, J & A Goolsby. 2005. "Nationalism in America: the Case of the Populist Movement." Theory and Society. 34:2 197-225.
- As a marker of national identity, the term ``American'' is culturally meaningful but also difficult and contradictory. In the first part of this article, we develop the claim that analyzing nationalism as discourse provides a meaningful lens for the study of this boundary-making process. In particular, the distinctions between civic/ethnic and inclusive/exclusive forms of nationalism have proved nettlesome for a consideration of American nationalism. In the second half of the article, we use data from the Southern Populist movement of the late nineteenth century to provide both relational and cultural analyses of the use of the term ``American.'' Although its use was primarily ``civic,'' it had important but complex racial implications.
- Johnston, Jose. 2008. "The Citizen-consumer Hybrid: Ideological Tensions and the Case of Whole Foods Market." Theory and Society. 37:3 229-270.
- Ethical consumer discourse is organized around the idea that shopping, and particularly food shopping, is a way to create progressive social change. A key component of this discourse is the ``citizen-consumer'' hybrid, found in both activist and academic writing on ethical consumption. The hybrid concept implies a social practice - ``voting with your dollar'' - that can satisfy competing ideologies of consumerism (an idea rooted in individual self-interest) and citizenship (an ideal rooted in collective responsibility to a social and ecological commons). While a hopeful sign, this hybrid concept needs to be theoretically unpacked, and empirically explored. This article has two purposes. First, it is a theory-building project that unpacks the citizen-consumer concept, and investigates underlying ideological tensions and contradictions. The second purpose of the paper is to relate theory to an empirical case-study of the citizen-consumer in practice. Using the case-study of Whole Foods Market (WFM), a corporation frequently touted as an ethical market actor, I ask: (1) how does WFM frame the citizen-consumer hybrid, and (2) what ideological tensions between consumer and citizen ideals are present in the framing? Are both ideals coexisting and balanced in the citizen-consumer hybrid, or is this construct used to disguise underlying ideological inconsistencies? Rather than meeting the requirements of consumerism and citizenship equally, the case of WFM suggests that the citizen-consumer hybrid provides superficial attention to citizenship goals in order to serve three consumerist interests better: consumer choice, status distinction, and ecological cornucopianism. I argue that a true ``citizen-consumer'' hybrid is not only difficult to achieve, but may be internally inconsistent in a growth-oriented corporate setting.
- Tugal, Cihan. 2009. "Transforming Everyday Life: Islamism and Social Movement Theory." Theory and Society. 38:5 423-458.
- The Islamist movement in Turkey bases its mobilization strategy on transforming everyday practices. Public challenges against the state do not form a central part of its repertoire. New Social Movement theory provides some tools for analyzing such an unconventional strategic choice. However, as Islamist mobilization also seeks to reshape the state in the long run, New Social Movement theory (with its focus on culture and society and its relative neglect of the state) needs to be complemented by more institutional analyses. A hegemonic account of mobilization, which incorporates tools from theories of everyday life and identity-formation, as well as from state-centered approaches, is offered as a way to grasp the complexity of Islamism.
- Ghaziani, Amin. 2009. "An ``amorphous Mist''? the Problem of Measurement in the Study of Culture." Theory and Society. 38:6 581-612.
- Sociological studies of culture have made significant progress on conceptual clarification of the concept, while remaining comparatively quiescent on questions of measurement. This study empirically examines internal conflicts (or ``infighting''), a ubiquitous phenomenon in political organizing, to propose a ``resinous culture framework'' that holds promise for redirection. The data comprise 674 newspaper articles and more than 100 archival documents that compare internal dissent across two previously unstudied lesbian and gay Marches on Washington. Analyses reveal that activists use infighting as a vehicle to engage in otherwise abstract definitional debates that provide concrete answers to questions such as who are we and what do we want. The mechanism that enables infighting to concretize these cultural concerns is its coupling with fairly mundane and routine organizational tasks. This mechanism affords one way to release the culture concept, understood here as collective self-definitions, from being ``an amorphous, indescribable mist which swirls around society members,'' as it was once provocatively described.