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Making Sense of Social Movements [Paperback]

Nick Crossley , Crossley Nick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 23.99
Price: 21.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Jan 2002 0335206026 978-0335206025
"...effectively demonstrates the enduring importance of 'classical' social movement theory...and provides a cutting edge critical review of recent theoretical developments. This is one of the most important general theoretical texts on social movements for some years." - Paul Bagguley, University of Leeds
  • Why and how do social movements emerge?
  • In which ways are social movements analysed?
  • Can our understanding be enhanced by new perspectives?
Making Sense of Social Movements offers a clear and comprehensive overview of the key sociological approaches to the study of social movements. The author argues that each of these approaches makes an important contribution to our understanding of social movements but that none is adequate on its own. In response he argues for a new approach which draws together key insights within the solid foundations of Pierre Bourdieu's social theory of practice.

This new approach transcends the barriers which still often divide European and North American perspectives of social movements, and also those which divide recent approaches from the older 'collective behaviour' approach. The result is a theoretical framework which is uniquely equipped for the demands of modern social movement analysis.

The clear and concise style of the text, as well as its neat summaries of key concepts and approaches, will make this book invaluable for undergraduate courses. It will also be an essential reference for researchers.

Frequently Bought Together

Making Sense of Social Movements + Social Movements: An Introduction + The Social Movements Reader: Cases and Concepts (Blackwell Readers in Sociology)
Price For All Three: 69.04

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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press (1 Jan 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335206026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335206025
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 545,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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'...a clear and accessible overview of both classical and more recent theoretical approaches in social movement research....a well written book that makes a persuasive case for revisiting the work of classical social movement theorists, and a stimulating reflection on the applicability of Bourdieu theory of practice within social movement research....an important and thought-provoking contribution to the to the social movements literature' - Robert Gibb (Electronic Newsletter on Extremist and Democracy 2002-12-16)

About the Author

Nick Crossley is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester. His studies of social movements have included a detailed analysis of the UK anti-psychiatry and psychiatric survivor movements, and an investigation of the relationship of movement politics to higher education. His previous publications include The Politics of Subjectivity (1994), Intersubjectivity (1996), and The Social Body (2001).

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A more appropriate title for this book would perhaps have been `theories and concepts in social movement research', although making some sense of social movements is also one of the book's accomplishments. Nick Crossley brings into focus all the major theoretical and empirical currents in social movement research, evaluates them and offers not only some significant criticism, but also constructive comments and suggestions for the further expansion of key concepts.

In his assessment of each theoretical approach, he usually analyses one or two representative works. In his examination of the Collective Behaviour approach, for example, he looks at the key works of Mead and Blumer, while in that of the Resource Mobilization theory the emphasis is put on the works of Oberschall and McCarthy and Zald. In all chapters the author structures his exploration initially providing some historical-theoretical framework and definitions, moves on into analysing the key concepts and arguments of each theory (most of the times using examples) and concludes with an evaluation and criticism of the given approach. Suggestions for further reading are also included at the end of each chapter.

Throughout the book Crossley takes issue against what is known as the Rational Actor Theory (RAT), as well as against those who condemn the Collective Behaviour approach as being of little value to contemporary social movement research. His account is persuasive (and sometimes very passionate!) and accompanied by examples which are very useful for highlighting his case. The final chapter serves to construct an inclusive approach to Social Movements that basically combines all the useful elements of the approaches explored, with main emphasis on the works of Smelser and Bourdieu.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 28 Jun 2014
By Jomo
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this as a module reader for University, it was very informative and well explained, it was a good reference book and helped to examine the social movement theories of various theorists.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for students, tutors and activists 22 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Highly recommeded for all students of social movements,it outlines and identifies the main drivers for social change and their legacy.
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