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Cultural Approaches to Collective Action

Periodo di svolgimento

da Mercoledì, 7 Aprile 2021 a Venerdì, 28 Maggio 2021
Ore del corso: 20
Ore dei docenti responsabili: 20

Modalità d'esame

  • Relazione o seminario

Prerequisiti

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Political Science and Sociology"

Optional for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year students of the PhD Programme in "Transnational Governance"

Optional for the 4th and 5th year students of the MA Programme in "Political and Social Sciences"

Programma

April-May 2021 – Lorenzo Zamponi

Work in progress – this syllabus will be subject to changes until the beginning of the course – Last updated November 20, 2020.

 

Cultural approaches to collective action

 

Collective action, like any other social process, takes place in a culturally structured environment. Actors’ perceptions and behaviours are partially shaped by memories of the past, socially shared understandings of reality, habitus, expectations, linguistic and cognitive mechanisms, and so on. Drawing on the literature on social movements (and in particular on the role of culture, symbols, narratives, stories, collective identites), on the sociology of culture and on cultural studies, the course will analyse these issues, addressing the different cultural approaches to the study of collective action and providing both readings that draw on this multidisciplinary tradition and examples rooted in contemporary collective action.

 

1)      Conceptualising culture in social movement studies

In our first session, we will quickly introduce the background of the turn towards cultural aspects in the study of collective action and its epistemological and methodological implications.

 

Readings:

della Porta, D. and Diani, M. (2006) Social Movements: An Introduction. London: Blackwell, Chapter 3.

Jasper, J.M. (2007) Cultural Approaches in the Sociology of Social Movements. In: Klandermans, B. and Roggeband, C. (eds.) Handbook of Social Movements Across Disciplines. London: Springer, pp.59-109.

Jasper, J.M. and Polletta, F. (2019) The Cultural Context of Social Movements. In: Snow, D.A., Kriesi, H., Soule, S.A. and McCammon, H.J. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 63-78.

Polletta, F. (2008). Culture and movements. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science,619(1), 78–96.

 

 

2)      Collective identity

In our second session, we will mainly focus on the concept of collective identity in the study of collective action.

 

Readings:

Flesher Fominaya, C. (2019) Collective Identity in Social Movements: Assessing the Limits of a Theoretical Framework. In: Snow, D.A., Kriesi, H., Soule, S.A. and McCammon, H.J. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 429-446.

Jasper, J.M., Tramontano, M. and McGarry, A. (2015) Scholarly Research on Collective Identities. In: Jasper, J.M. and McGarry, A. (eds.) The Identity Dilemma. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, pp. 18-44.

Melucci, A. (1989) Nomads of the present: Social movements and individual needs in contemporary society. London: Hutchinson Radius, Chapter 3.

Melucci, A. (1995) The Process of Collective Identity. In: Johnston, H. and Klandermans, B. (eds.) Social Movements and Culture. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 41-63.

Taylor, V., and Whittier, N.E. (1992) Collective identity in social movement communities: Lesbian feminist mobilization. In: Morris, A., and Mueller, C. (eds.) Frontiers of Social Movement Theory. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

 

3)      Discourse, meaning and knowledge

In our third session, we will address both the role of public discourse as a context in which collective action takes places and the role of social movements as knowledge producers.

 

Readings:

Cox, L. and Flesher Fominaya, C. (2009) Movement knowledge: what do we know, how do we create knowledge and what do we do with it? Interface: a journal for and about social movements 1(1), pp. 1-20.

della Porta, D. and Pavan, E. (2017) Repertoires of knowledge practices: social movements in times of crisis. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management 12(4).

Gamson, W. (1988) Political Discourse and Collective Action. In: B. Klandermans, B., Kriesi H. and Tarrow S. (eds.) From Structure to Action: Comparing Social Movement Research Across Cultures, International Social Movement Research. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, pp. 219-244

Gamson, W.A. and Modigliani, A. (1989) Media discourse and public opinion of nuclear power: A constructionist approach. American Journal of Sociology 95(1), pp. 1–37.

Treré, E. and Mattoni, A. (2016). Media ecologies and protest movements: main perspectives and key lessons. Information, Communication & Society 19(3), pp. 290-306.

 

4)      Movement culture: performance, art, habitus

In our fourth session, we will focus on movements’ cultural repertoires, reviewing how the repertoire of action is culturally structured, ritualised and routinised and how social movements use art and performance.

 

Readings:

Flesher Fominaya, C. (2014) Movement Culture as Habit(us): Resistance to Change in the Routinized Practices of Resistance. In: Baumgarten, B., Daphi, P. and Ullrich, P. (eds.) Conceptualizing Culture inSocial Movement Research. London: Palgrave, pp.186-205.

Juris, J.S. (2014) Embodying Protest: Culture and Performance within Social Movements. In: Baumgarten, B., Daphi, P. and Ullrich, P. (eds.) Conceptualizing Culture inSocial Movement Research. London: Palgrave, pp.227-250.

Mathieu, L. (2019) Art and Social Movements. In: Snow, D.A., Kriesi, H., Soule, S.A. and McCammon, H.J. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 354-368.

 

 

5)      Narrative and memory

In our fifth session, we will analyse the role of storytelling in collective action and focus in particular on stories related to the past, addressing the relationship between social movements and collective memories.

 

Readings:

Daphi, P. and Zamponi, L. (2019) Exploring the Movement-Memory Nexus: Insights and Ways Forward. Mobilization 24(4), pp. 399-417

Polletta, F. (1998) Contending Stories: Narrative in Social Movements. Qualitative Sociology 21, pp.419-446

Zamponi, L. (2018) Social Movements, Memory and Media. Narrative in Action in the Italian and Spanish Student Movements. London: Palgrave, Chapter 1.

 

6)      Ideology and ideologies

Our sixth session will be dedicated to an often overlooked component of collective action: ideology. How do worldviews and political understandings of reality inform social mobilisation?

 

Readings:

Goldstone, J.A. (1991) Ideology, cultural frameworks, and the process of revolution. Theory and Society 20, pp. 405–453.

Oliver, P. and Johnston, H. (2000) What a Good Idea! Ideologies and Frames in Social Movement Research. Mobilization 5(1): 37-54.

Sewell, W.H., Jr (1985) Ideologies and social revolutions: Reflections on the French case. The Journal of Modern History 57, pp. 57–85.

Zald, M.N. (2000) Ideologically structured action: An enlarged agenda for social movement research. Mobilization 5, 1–16.

 

7)      Whose culture? Subcultures, countercultures and subaltern cultures

In our seventh session we will challenge a monolithical understanding of culture, focusing on cultures that are alternative to the dominant one in a certain context.

 

Readings:

Collins, C. (2013) Language, Marxism and the Grasping of Policy Agendas: Neoliberalism and Political Voice in Scotland’s Poorest Communities. In: Barker, C., Cox, L., Krinsky, J., and Nilsen, A.G. (eds.) Marxism and Social Movements. Leiden: Brill, pp. 337-356

Haenfler, R. (2006) Straight Edge:Clean Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ, Chapter 1.

Martin, G. (2002) Conceptualizing Cultural Politics in Subcultural and Social Movement Studies. Social Movement Studies 1(1), pp.73-88.

Thompson, E.P. (1971) The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century. Past and Present 50, pp. 76-136

 

8)      Cultural outcomes

Our last session will be dedicated to culture as a consequence of collective action: how do movements shape cultural change?

 

Readings:

Amenta, E. and Polletta, F. (2019) The Cultural Impacts of Social Movements. Annual Review of Sociology 45, pp. 279-299.

Van Dyke, N. and Taylor, V. (2019) The Culture Outcomes of Social Movements. In: Snow, D.A., Kriesi, H., Soule, S.A. and McCammon, H.J. (eds.) The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Social Movements. London: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 482-498.

 

Obiettivi formativi

Collective action, like any other social process, takes place in a culturally structured environment. Actors’ perceptions and behaviours are partially shaped by memories of the past, socially shared understandings of reality, habitus, expectations, linguistic and cognitive mechanisms, and so on. Drawing on the literature on social movements (and in particular on the role of culture, symbols, narratives, stories, collective identites), on the sociology of culture and on cultural studies, the course will analyse these issues, addressing the different cultural approaches to the study of collective action and providing both readings that draw on this multidisciplinary tradition and examples rooted in contemporary collective action.