Radical Protest

Radical Protest

On the Sociological Theory of Political Movements

Pettenkofer, H.

Amsterdam University Press






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Radical Protest blends social movement research and social theoretical debates with a powerful critique of currently dominant theoretical approaches to identify the social mechanisms that enable activist movements.
Preface[-][-]I. The rationalist paradigm and its limitations[-][-]1. The negative reference point of contemporary protest research: Parsons' anomy theory of political conflicts[-][-]2. Theories about selective incentives[-][-]3. Theories about opportunity structures[-]3.1. Resources[-]3.2. Political opportunities[-]3.3. The method of protest event analysis[-][-]4. The problem of culture and the exhaustion of the rationalist paradigm[-]4.1. Frames[-]4.2. Routines[-]4.3. Identities[-][-]5. Protest research as a normalization project[-]5.1. Protest research as organizational consulting [-]5.2. Protest research as a rhetoric of justification[-]5.3. How scientism reinforces political normalization[-][-]6. Why counterfactual rationalism is no solution[-][In the German version, ch. 6 also contains a 4400-word section on "Jeffrey Alexander's ?neofunctionalist' theory of political conflicts". While I like this section and fully stand by its results, with hindsight I think that it interrupts the flow of the book's argument because it discusses questions that are not systematically adressed anywhere else in the book (macro theory of social differentiation; problematic uses of the concept of the arbitrary signifyer in cultural sociology; etc.), so my suggestion is that this section should be dropped from the book.][-][-]II. Elements of a theory of radical protest[-][-]7. The social constitution of the activist self (Dewey, Mead etc.)[-]7.1. Protest events and the emergence of new patterns of meaning[-]7.2. Careers of identity change[-]7.3. Disrespect as a cause of protest[-][-]8. Protest as a technology of the self (Weber)[-]8.1. Charisma and political movements: some misunderstandings[-]8.2. How ?world-rejection' can stabilize radical activism[-]8.3. The ?sect' as an organizational form of protest[-][N.B. The book, following Weber, uses ?sect' as a value-free term for describing a specific organizational form, not as a term of abuse.][-][-]9. Protest as a ritualized euphoric experience (Durkheim)[-]9.1. Protest events as religious celebrations[-]9.2. Durkheim's problematic naturalism, and its consequences[-]9.3. Collective euphoria and foundational violence[-]9.4. Religious metaphors and cultural path dependency: the "contagiousness of the sacred"[-][-]10. The social order of radical protest[-]10.1. Social movements as fields of sect competition[-]10.2. How religion-based mechanisms can bind calculating actors[-]
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