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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Testing the Influence of Ambivalence on Vote Switching in the German Multi-party Context

Klara Dentler

can be used, for example, to analyze both short-term dynamics during the federal election campaign and long-term social change processes between individual elections. In detail, the article uses data from the gles short-term campaign panels for

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Negotiating Girl-led Advocacy

Addressing Early and Forced Marriage in South Africa

Sadiyya Haffejee, Astrid Treffry-Goatley, Lisa Wiebesiek, and Nkonzo Mkhize

. While a number of elders at the meeting initially denied that EFM is practiced in the community, the iNkosi (chief) expressed a willingness to address this issue and to support social change in the community. The following month, we were asked to

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Pricking Us into Revolt? Vonnegut, DeLillo and Sartre's Hope for Literature

Damon Boria

As seen in his enthusiastic praise of John Dos Passos's 1919, Sartre evaluated literary works by how effectively they aim to play a role in fundamental social change. This essay has two goals. One is to show that Sartre's endorsement of committed literature is not undercut if literature fails to play a role in fundamental social change and the other is to show at least some of the ways in which committed literature is successful. Both goals are pursued through a consideration of the literary works of Kurt Vonnegut and Don DeLillo. The former was mentioned briefly but favorably by Sartre in 1971 and the latter, while lacking such direct ties to Sartre, was accused of “sandbox existentialism.” I read both writers as arguments in favor of Sartre's instrumentalist take on literature.

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Violence, Social Movements, and Black Freedom Struggles

Ten Theses toward a Research Agenda for Scholars of Contention Today

AK Thompson


George Floyd's murder by police on 26 May 2020 set off a cycle of struggle that was notable for its size, intensity, and rate of diffusion. Starting in Minneapolis, the uprising quickly spread to dozens of other major cities and brought with it a repertoire that included riots, arson, and looting. In many places, these tactics coexisted with more familiar actions like public assemblies and mass marches; however, the inflection these tactics gave to the cycle of contention is not easily reconciled with the protest repertoire most frequently mobilized during movement campaigns in the United States today. This discrepancy has led to extensive commentary by scholars and movement participants, who have often weighed in by considering the moral and strategic efficacy of the chosen tactics. Such considerations should not be discounted. Nevertheless, I argue that both the dynamics of contention witnessed during the uprising and their ambivalent relationship to the established protest repertoire must first be understood in historical terms. By considering the relationship between violence, social movements, and Black freedom struggles in this way, I argue that scholars can develop a better understanding of current events while anticipating how the dynamics of contention are likely to develop going forward. Being attentive to these dynamics should in turn inform our research agendas, and it is with this aim in mind that I offer the following ten theses.

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Modernisation and Social Change

The Impact on Iranian Elderly Social Networks and Care Systems

Mary Elaine Hegland, Zahra Sarraf, and Mohammad Shahbazi

Anthropological field research in Iran, mainly in the village of Aliabad and in nearby Shiraz in south-west Iran, has documented radical social, cultural, religious and economic change over the last 28 years. Increasing emphasis on the nuclear rather than the extended family and pressures for geographic and social mobility have profoundly influenced the lives of the elderly. The traditional family system of support for elders - with regard to emotional and social needs, as well as financial assistance and physical care - is breaking down. Social scientists, social workers and health personnel must focus on adequately addressing the needs and concerns of the Iranian elderly in the twenty-first century and on developing alternative systems to deal with key elderly issues of health, well-being and social incorporation.

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Planning to Forget

Mobility and Violence in Urban Jamaica1


This article examines the processes underpinning the restructuring of violence in urban Jamaica. Focusing upon the formation of Portmore, a planned community built to provide an alternative to the overcrowded and violent living conditions in west and central Kingston, I analyze planners and residents attempts to disrupt and erase the everyday experience of violence and poverty among working class Jamaicans. Tracing the shift away from politically motivated violence to what residents have termed ‘freelance violence’, I illustrate the socio‐spatial dimensions of violence and poverty in urban Jamaica and the changing relationship between state support, political engagement and citizenship.

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Masculinity, Fun, and Social Change

Reflections on The Men and the Boys

C.J. Pascoe


Raewyn Connell's theorizing in The Men and the Boys shaped my analysis of young men's engagements with masculinity, and my thinking about gender inequality more generally. The claims about relationships between global inequalities and gender relations in that text shifted my focus away from types of boys—gay boys, straight boys, nerdy boys, popular boys—to a focus on gender relations among boys themselves, processes by which boys both robbed others of precious indicators of masculinity and attempted to claim said indicators for themselves. This shift highlights the centrality of interaction, practice, and institutions to gender inequality among American teenagers. The essay concludes by discussing how Connell's focus on global inequalities provided a foundation from which to argue that many of the same gendered dynamics we see among American teenagers—what I came to call masculinity contests—are also deeply woven into political discourses and practices.

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Les Assurances Sociales

une contribution à la modernisation de la société française dans l'entre-deux-guerres?

Bruno Valat

The 1930 law creating social insurance was the Third Republic's great achievement in the social arena. However, the historiography of contemporary France contains barely a trace of this achievement. Victim of the regime's discredit as well as of the lack of any reformist political efforts in its favor, social insurance of the 1930s has also suffered by comparison to later achievements, particularly the creation of Social Security in 1945. However, if we study social insurance in its own historical context—and not in reference to the postwar period—, it can constitute an original source for the study of the modernization of French society. This article proposes three approaches: social insurance constitutes a vector for the acculturation of the working class to retirement and to the medicalization of health, contributing to the history of working class uses and representations of consumption and social rights. On a more institutional level, the experience of social insurance reveals the first legal experiments with co-gestion involving employers, workers, and insurance organizations. Finally, a prosopographical study of the militant trajectories linked to social insurance could contribute to the history of the working-class movement between 1930 and the end of the Thirty Glorious Years: is there a "social insurance generation" within French syndicalism?

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Ethno-national Identity and the New Age World View in Israel

Dalit Simchai

This article focuses on the concept of identity by juxtaposing New Age philosophy and nationalism in the Israeli context. Based on my qualitative research, I deconstruct the Israeli New Age discourse on ethno-national identity and expose two approaches within this discourse. The more common one is the belief held by most Israelis, according to which ethno-national identity is a fundamental component of one's self. A second and much less prevalent view resembles New Age ideology outside Israel and conceives of ethno-national identities as a false social concept that separate people rather than unite them. My findings highlight the limits of New Age ideology as an alternative to the hegemonic culture in Israel. The difficulty that Israeli New Agers find in divorcing hegemonic conceptualizations demonstrates the centrality and power of ethno-national identity in Israel.

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Examining the Dynamics of Energy Demand through a Biographical Lens

Catherine Butler, Karen Anne Parkhill, Fiona Shirani, Karen Henwood, and Nick Pidgeon

It is widely recognized that a major challenge in low carbon transitioning is the reduction of energy consumption. This implies a significant level of transformation in our ways of living, meaning the challenge is one that runs deep into the fabric of our personal lives. In this article we combine biographical research approaches with concepts from Bourdieu's practice theory to develop understanding of processes of change that embed particular patterns of energy consumption. Through an analysis of “case biographies” we show the value of biographical methods for understanding the dynamics of energy demand.