Contemporary articles citing Piven F (1977) Poor Peoples Movemen

movement, movements, public, account, states, state, collective, few, process, strategic

Leach, DK. 2005. "The Iron Law of What Again? Conceptualizing Oligarchy Across Organizational Forms." Sociological Theory. 23:3 312-337. Link
The debate around Michels's ``iron law of oligarchy'' over the question of whether organizations inevitably become oligarchic reaches back almost a century, but the concept of oligarchy has frequently been left underspecfied, and the measures that have been employed are especially inadequate for analyzing nonbureaucratically structured organizations. A conceptual model is needed that delineates what does and does not constitute oligarchy and can be applied in both bureaucratic and nonbureaucratic settings. Definitions found in the research are inadequate for two reasons. First, treating oligarchy solely as a feature of organizational structure neglects the possibility that a powerful elite may operate outside of the formal structure. A democratic structure is a necessary precondition, but it does not guarantee the absence of oligarchy. Second, studies that equate oligarchy with goal displacement and bureaucratic conservatism cannot account for organizations with radical goals that are nonetheless dominated by a ruling elite. This article presents a model that distinguishes between legitimate and illegitimate forms of formal and informal power to define oligarchy as a concentration of illegitimate power in the hands of an entrenched minority. The model is intended for use in organizations that are nominally democratic to determine whether a formal or informal leadership has in fact acquired oligarchic control. By providing a common framework for tracking fluctuations in the distribution and legitimacy of both formal and informal power, it is hoped that this model will facilitate a more productive bout of research on the conditions under which various forms of democratically structured organizations may be able to resist oligarchization.

Earl, J. 2003. "Tanks, Tear Gas, and Taxes: Toward a Theory of Movement Repression." Sociological Theory. 21:1 44-68. Link
Despite the importance of research on repression to the study of social movements, few researchers have focused on developing a refined and powerful conceptualization of repression. To address the difficulties such theoretical inattention produces, three key dimensions of repression are outlined and crossed to produce a repression typology. The merit of this typology for researchers is shown by using the typology to: (1) reorganize major research findings on repression; (2) diagnose theoretical and empirical oversights and missteps in the study of repression; and (3) develop new hypotheses about explanatory factors related to repression and relationships between different forms of repression. Such a typology represents an important step toward creating richer theoretical explanations of repression.

Goldberg, CA. 2001. "Welfare Recipients or Workers? Contesting the Workfare State in New York City." Sociological Theory. 19:2 187-218. Link
This paper addresses how New York City's workfare program has structural opportunities for collective action by welfare recipients. As workfare blurs the distinction between wage workers and welfare recipients, it calls into question accepted understandings of the rights and obligations of welfare recipients and fosters new claims on the state. The concept of ``cultural opportunity structures'' can help to explain the political mobilization of workfare participants if it is linked to a Durkheimian tradition of cultural analysis attentive to symbolic classification. The dramaturgic approach to culture exemplified in the work of Erving Goffman can usefully complement this structural approach if a narrow focus on frames and framing process is broadened to include interaction rituals and ceremonial profanation.

Wood, RL. 1999. "Religious Culture and Political Action." Sociological Theory. 17:3 307-332. Link
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.

Skrentny, JD. 1998. "The Effect of the Cold War on African-american Civil Rights: America and the World Audience, 1945-1968." Theory and Society. 27:2 237-285. Link

Shefner, J. 2001. "Power at the Top." Theory and Society. 30:6 811-822. Link

Szreter, S. 2002. "The State of Social Capital: Bringing Back in Power, Politics, and History." Theory and Society. 31:5 573-621. Link

Biggs, M. 2003. "Positive Feedback in Collective Mobilization: the American Strike Wave of 1886." Theory and Society. 32:2 217-254. Link
Waves of collective mobilization, when participation increases rapidly and expectations shift dramatically, pose an important puzzle for social science. Such waves, I argue, can only be explained by an endogenous process of ``positive feedback.'' This article identifies two distinct mechanisms - interdependence and inspiration - that generate positive feedback in collective mobilization. It also provides a detailed analysis of one episode: the wave of strikes that swept American cities in May 1886. Although historians and sociologists have suggested various precipitants, these do not account for the magnitude of the upsurge. Focusing on events in Chicago during the months before May, the article provides quantitative and qualitative evidence for positive feedback.

Goldberg, CA. 2003. "Haunted by the Specter of Communism: Collective Identity and Resource Mobilization in the Demise of the Workers Alliance of America." Theory and Society. 32:5-6 725-773. Link
This article seeks to integrate identity-oriented and strategic models of collective action better by drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's theory of classification struggles. On the one hand, the article extends culture to the realm of interest by highlighting the role collective identity plays in one of the key processes that strategic models of collective action foreground: the mobilization of resources. The article extends culture to the realm of interest in another way as well: by challenging the notion that labor movements are fundamentally different from or antithetical to the identity-oriented new social movements. On the other hand, the article also extends the idea of interest to culture. Rather than viewing collective identity as something formed prior to political struggle and according to a different logic, I show that collective identity is constructed in and through struggles over classificatory schemes. These include struggles between movements and their opponents as well as struggles within movements. The article provides empirical evidence for these theoretical claims with a study of the demise of the Workers Alliance of America, a powerful, nation-wide movement of the unemployed formed in the United States in 1935 and dissolved in 1941.

Goldstone, JA. 2004. "More Social Movements or Fewer? Beyond Political Opportunity Structures to Relational Fields." Theory and Society. 33:3-4 333-365. Link
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.

Koopmans, R. 2004. "Movements and Media: Selection Processes and Evolutionary Dynamics in the Public Sphere." Theory and Society. 33:3-4 367-391. Link
This article argues that the decisive part of the interaction between social movements and political authorities is no longer the direct, physical confrontation between them in concrete locations, but the indirect, mediated encounters among contenders in the arena of the mass media public sphere. Authorities react to social movement activities if and as they are depicted in the mass media, and conversely movement activists become aware of political opportunities and constraints through the reactions ( or non-reactions) that their actions provoke in the public sphere. The dynamics of this mediated interaction among political contenders can be analyzed as an evolutionary process. Of the great variety of attempts to mobilize public attention, only a few can be accommodated in the bounded media space. Three selection mechanisms-labelled here as ``discursive opportunities'' - can be identified that affect the diffusion chances of contentious messages: visibility ( the extent to which a message is covered by the mass media), resonance ( the extent to which others - allies, opponents, authorities, etc.-react to a message), and legitimacy ( the degree to which such reactions are supportive). The argument is empirically illustrated by showing how the strategic repertoire of the German radical right evolved over the course of the 1990s as a result of the differential reactions that various strategies encountered in the mass media arena.

Tarrow, S. 2004. "From Comparative Historical Analysis to ``local Theory'': the Italian City-state Route to the Modern State." Theory and Society. 33:3-4 443-471. Link
Many explanations have been offered for why the dominant city-states of Italy declined, giving way to the larger, national states of Western Europe. Some, like World Systems theorists, have seen the decline of the Italian city-states as the result of the shift of trade from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, while others, like Richard Lachmann, have focused on institutional arrangements that rendered these systems less resilient when faced by external threats. This article focuses on the relations of local institutions with the interests of capital, and on the role of contentious politics within the city-state that developed as a result of this interaction. Taking as my starting point the comparative historical analysis of statebuilding in the work of Charles Tilly, in Coercion, Capital and European States, the article places contentious politics as a bridge between the Tillian categories of capital-domination and statebuilding, using the case of Florence in the late 14th and early 15th centuries to etch the skeleton of that bridge. With Tilly, I argue that the class interests of the urban elites that were built directly into the mechanisms of city-state politics worked at cross-purposes to the collective requirements of statebuilding. Next, I argue that Tilly pays too little attention to the specificities of the Italian case and gives short shrift to its internal political processes. Finally, I argue that class domination working through institutional conflicts led to periodic outbursts of conflict and built a lack of trust into the structure of governance. I conclude by suggesting why the Italian city-states, at least, were inhibited from taking the nation-state route to the modern world until quite late in their histories.

Schurman, R & W Munro. 2006. "Ideas, Thinkers, and Social Networks: the Process of Grievance Construction in the Anti-genetic Engineering Movement." Theory and Society. 35:1 1-38. Link
Popular commentaries suggest that the movement against genetic engineering in agriculture (anti-GE movement) was born in Europe, rooted in European cultural approaches to food, and sparked by recent food-safety scares such as ``mad cow'' disease. Yet few realize that the anti-GE movement's origins date back thirty years, that opposition to agricultural biotechnology emerged with the technology itself, and that the movement originated in the United States rather than Europe. We argue here that neither the explosion of the GE food issue in the late 1990s nor the concomitant expansion of the movement can be understood without recognizing the importance of the intellectual work carried out by a ``critical community'' of activists during the two-decade-long period prior to the 1990s. We show how these early critics forged an oppositional ideology and concrete set of grievances upon which a movement could later be built. Our analysis advances social movement theory by establishing the importance of the intellectual work that activists engage in during the ``proto-mobilizational'' phase of collective action, and by identifying the cognitive and social processes by which activists develop a critical, analytical framework. Our elaboration of four specific dimensions of idea/ideology formation pushes the literature toward a more complete understanding of the role of ideas and idea-makers in social movements, and suggests a process of grievance construction that is more ``organic'' than strategic (pace the framing literature).

Tugal, Cihan. 2009. "Transforming Everyday Life: Islamism and Social Movement Theory." Theory and Society. 38:5 423-458. Link
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.

Katz, Michael. 2010. "Was Government the Solution or the Problem? the Role of the State in the History of American Social Policy." Theory and Society. 39:3-4, SI 487-502. Link
This article attempts to resolve a contradiction noted by Charles Tilly between my earlier writings on education and later writings on the welfare state. The earlier work on education was critical of governments' role in constructing bureaucratic school systems that reinforced inequality; the later work on the welfare state argued for the extension of government social provision. This article shows how the contradiction poses a false dichotomy. It then uses history to show how assessments of governments' role reflect the political context in which they are written but rest on consistent values and priorities. The article emphasizes, as well, the absence of a counter narrative to the political right's assertion of government policy failure; the truncated and inappropriate use of ``state'' in much writing on public policies; and the need for historians of policy to develop means of assessing the success or failure of government policies and programs.

Friedman, Eli. 2013. "Insurgency and Institutionalization: the Polanyian Countermovement and Chinese Labor Politics." Theory and Society. 42:3 295-327. Link
Why is it that in the nearly 10 years since the Chinese central government began making symbolic and material moves towards class compromise that labor unrest has expanded greatly? In this article I reconfigure Karl Polanyi's theory of the coutermovement to account for recent developments in Chinese labor politics. Specifically, I argue that countermovements must be broken down into two constituent but intertwined ``moments'': the insurgent moment that consists of spontaneous resistance to the market, and the institutional moment, when class compromise is established in the economic and political spheres. In China, the transition from insurgency to institutionalization has thus far been confounded by conditions of ``appropriated representation,'' where the only worker organizations allowed to exist are those within the state-run All China Federation of Trade Unions. However, in drawing on two case studies of strikes in capital-intensive industries in Guangdong province, I show that the relationship between insurgency and institutionalization shifted between 2007 and 2010.