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Call for Papers

Feminist Movements across the Board (A Critical Analysis)

Barbara Franchi, Natália S. Perez, and Giovanni A. Travaglino

Feminist movements have had a fundamental impact on social life in many different parts of the world. Reforms in marriage and private property laws, as well as change in spheres as diverse as sexual life, contraception, and the work-place have had profound consequences on the way we conceptualize, act and signify gender relations. Feminist thinkers and activists have also brought attention to the impact that the intersectionality of racism, heterosexism, poverty and religious intolerance (among many other factors) can have in people’s lives.

Open access

Observing Protest Organizations as Social Systems

The Popular Front Francisco Villa’s Media Diffusion Articulation of Political Subjectivities among Workers

Edgar Everardo Guerra Blanco

This article draws on social systems theory to explore a key phenomenon in social movements: organizations. The Frente Popular Francisco Villa (PFFV)—an organization related to the Urban Popular Movement in Mexico—is used as a case study. The research focuses on the internal dynamics that have steered this organization and propelled internal changes in some of its key aspects, especially media diffusion and propaganda strategy. Indeed, the media strategy employed by the organization have changed during the 30-yearhistory of the PFFV, not only on the basis of the programmatic goals and objectives of the organization, but also as a consequence of internal and external dynamics beyond the control of members and leaders. The main objectives of this analysis are threefold. First, I intend to uncover the main processes and structures that regulate the PFFV´s internal dynamic and changes over time. Second, I aim to analyze the relationships between these changes and the requirements of several organizations and actors in the environment of the PFFV. Finally, I aim to explore the impact of broader processes (such as the political system or the culture) on the organization's internal changes.

Open access

Occupy Gezi Parki

Eyewitness Accounts

Barbara Franchi

A lucky coincidence made the event ‘Occupy Gezi Parki: Eyewtiness Accounts’ possible: the return to Canterbury of Adem, student of Sociology, after two weeks of protests in Istanbul. Adem kindly agreed to give a personal account of his experience as a protester in Gezi Parki.

Open access

An Open-Air Self-Managed Social Center Called Occupy

Sophie Toupin

I propose the concept of squatting as a way of exploring and understanding the recent Occupy movement and other manifestations that have taken hold of a physical and virtual space. To do this, I focus on squatting as a protest tactic employed by social movements, to gather, create and transform private and public spaces in common spaces. I follow Miguel Martinez (2006) premise that squatting has been aimed at constructing liberating spaces for living, communicating, and criticizing the global city and confronting capitalism. Using such framework to analyse the Occupy movement helps bring to the forefront what appears to be a somewhat similar experience, this time however, not solely via the occupation of buildings, but also via the occupation of parks or squares. The act of reclaiming and decommodifying open ‘public’ spaces in an attempt to create autonomous experiments visible to and ‘experimentable’ by all seem to have brought much visibility, appeal and relative openness to and of the occupy movement. From there, I discuss the particularities with moments of squatting, particularly with the occupied social centers movement, and instances of occupy sites in North America to underline a number of hidden and visible characteristics and features these phenomena share. In North America, the concept of squatting, including the practice of occupied social centers, seems to have had much less prevalence and impact on social movements than in Europe, but the occupy movement seems to have opened up new repertoire of actions for both activist and non-activists a like.

Open access

Protest Activity, Social Incentives, and Rejection Sensitivity

Results from a Survey Experiment about Tuition Fees

Emma A. Bäck, Hanna Bäck, and Gema Garcia-Albacete

People may engage in protest activity either because of collective incentives or selective incentives, or a combination of them. In this study we focus on the selective incentives part of the calculus of political participation, particularly the impact of the social dimension. We hypothesize that people will participate in demonstrations or other forms of protest, to a higher extent if they are afraid of rejection, but only if they feel that they have high social support for their own position. This hypothesis was supported in an online survey experiment where social support was manipulated. Results also revealed that individuals who were highly rejection sensitive were among the most likely to participate even though they did not believe protest activity to be an efficient way to bring about social change. This supports the notion that some individuals tend to engage in protest activity for purely social reasons. However it is still unclear whether these individuals are driven by an approach motivation to establish new social bonds or an avoidance motivation to escape possible social rejection.

Open access

A Review of "Declaration"

Nikos Sotirakopulos

Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri (2012) Declaration, Argo Navis Author Services, PP. 111, ISBN: 9780786752904.

Declaration is the 5th book by the influential intellectual duo of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri and the first after their trilogy of Empire (2001), Multitude (2005) and Commonwealth (2011). It is a ‘just on time’ intervention of the two intellectuals on the present moment and the cycle of struggles springing up around the world in 2011. Thus, its size and style resembles more a pamphlet, rather than the wider and more theoretical analysis taking place in their trilogy.

Open access

A Review of "Health Activism"

Heather A. Came

Glenn Laverack (2013) Health activism: Foundations and strategies, London: Sage Publications, pp. 175, ISBN: 978-1-4462-4964-2.

As a long-time public health activist I was pleased to see Laverack’s new book focussing on health activism. To date, there have been only a handful of texts available suitable for tertiary students, the most notable being Cwikel’s (2006) substantial work. The bulk of health activist texts consist of speciality texts about women’s health, HIV/AIDS activism and the ongoing fight against big tobacco. Laverack’s text serves its purpose in addressing a gap in the market for a generic introduction to public health activism.

Open access

A Review of "Networks of Outrage and Hope"

Jeffrey Butcher

Manuel Castells (2012) Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age, Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, pp. ix+306, ISBN-13: 978-0-7456-6285-5.

If the purpose of Manuel Castells’ book Networks of Outrage and Hope: Social Movements in the Internet Age is, as he says, “to suggest some hypotheses, grounded on observation, on the nature and perspectives of networked social movements, with the hope of identifying the new paths of social change in our time, and to stimulate a debate on the practical (and ultimately political) implications of these hypotheses” (p. 4), then he accomplishes his goal but sells himself short.

Open access

A Review of "We Are Many"

Mark Bergfeld

Kate Khatib, Margaret Killjoy, & Mike McGuire (2012) We Are Many. Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation. Edinburgh/San Francisco: AK Press, pp. 355, ISBN-13: 9781849351164.

David Graeber (2012) The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement. London: Allen Lane Press, pp. 352, ISBN: 9781846146633.

It is a common sense assumption to emphasise the leaderless, horizontal, networked and demandless nature of the Occupy movement of late 2011 (Penny 2011, Mason 2011, Castells 2012). Two recent publications - Laura Khatib’s We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy – From Occupation to Liberation and David Graeber’s The Democracy Project - explore the role anarchists played inside of the Occupy movement of 2011.

Open access

This Is the Time of Tension

Collective Action and Subjective Power in the Greek Anti-Austerity Movement

Atalanti Evripidou and John Drury

Greece has been one of the countries which most severely suffered the consequences of the global economic crisis during the past two years. It has also been a country with a long tradition of protest. The present paper reports a study in which we examined the ways in which people talk about subjective power and deal with the outcome of collective action in the context of defeat. Subjective power has recently become a prominent field of research and its link to collective action has been studied mainly through the concept of collective efficacy. The current study explored questions based on recent social identity accounts of subjective power in collective action. We examined participants’ experiences of subjective power before and after Mayday 2012, in Greece. Two different collective action events took place: a demonstration against austerity and a demonstration to support steel workers who were on strike. In total, 19 people were interviewed, 9 before the demonstrations and 10 after. Thematic analysis was carried out. Protest participants talked about power in terms of five first-order themes: the necessity of building power, unity, emotional effects, effects of (dis)organization, and support as success. The steel workers we spoke to experienced the events more positively than the other interviewees and had different criteria for success. Theories of collective action need to take account of the fact that subjective power has important emotional as well as cognitive dimensions, and that definitions of success depend on definitions of identity.