Changing Paradigms and Forms of Politics Edelman

Social Movements: Changing Paradigms and Forms of Politics Marc Edelman Annual Review of Anthropology, Vol. 30. (2001), pp. 285-317. Stable URL: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0084-6570%282001%292%3A30%3C285%3ASMCPAF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-9 Annual Review of Anthropology is currently published by Annual Reviews. Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at http://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides,
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  Social Movements: Changing Paradigms and Forms of Politics Marc Edelman Annual Review of Anthropology , Vol. 30. (2001), pp. 285-317. Stable URL:http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0084-6570%282001%292%3A30%3C285%3ASMCPAF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-9 Annual Review of Anthropology is currently published by Annual Reviews.Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available athttp://www.jstor.org/about/terms.html. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtainedprior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content inthe JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained athttp://www.jstor.org/journals/annrevs.html.Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printedpage of such transmission.The JSTOR Archive is a trusted digital repository providing for long-term preservation and access to leading academicjournals and scholarly literature from around the world. The Archive is supported by libraries, scholarly societies, publishers,and foundations. It is an initiative of JSTOR, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help the scholarly community takeadvantage of advances in technology. For more information regarding JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.http://www.jstor.orgTue Sep 11 11:44:10 2007  Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2001. 30:285-317Copyright @ 2001byAnnual Reviews. All r~ghtsreserved SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Changing Paradigms and Forms of Politics Marc Edelman Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York,New York 10021; e-mail:  medelman@shiva.hunter.cuny.edu  Key Words collective action, protest, resistance, civil society, globalization Abstract Theories of collective action have undergone a number of paradigmshifts, from mass behavior to resource mobilization, political process, and newsocial movements. Debates have centered on the applicability of these frameworks indiverse settings, on the periodization of collective action, on the divisive or unifyingimpact of identity politics, and on the appropriateness of political engagement byresearchers. Transnational activist networks are developing new protest repertoiresthat challenge anthropologists and other scholars to rethink conventional approachesto social movements. INTRODUCTION The worldwide political effervescence of the long 1960s (Isserman & Kazin2000) contributed to a paradigm crisis in social scientific thinking about collectiveaction. This prolonged decade of extraordinary upheaval in New York, Chicago,Berkeley, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Tokyo, Mexico City, Prague, Beijing, and elsewherewas the most intense period of grassroots mobilization since the 1930s. Civil rightsand antiwar movements, youth and student rebellions, mobilizations in defense ofregional autonomy and the environment and for the rights of women, gays andlesbians, the elderly, the disabled, and a host of other emergent groups, identities,and causes converged with an unprecedented wave of anticolonial and antiimperialinsurgencies in poorer regions of the globe. Social scientists of various orientationsconcerned with geopolitics and revolution had ready-made categories ( nationalliberation, subversion ) for analyzing events in the Third World. But the tur-moil in the developed North highlighted the inadequacy of existing social scientificframeworks and gave rise to new and rich debates.Even though anthropologists were well represented as participants in this tide ofunrest and their 1960s sensibilities contributed to new conceptualizations of inter-stitial politics and of power, gender, colonialism, and the state (Vincent 1990), theyremained to a large extent on the periphery of social scientific theorizing about col-lective action. One notable exception was the Vietnam-era agrarian studies tradition  286 EDELMAN (Rosebeny 1995) pioneered by Wolf (1969), a work that was an outgrowth of theteach-in movement. In part, anthropologists' marginal involvement in discussionsof collective action reflected an academic division of labor that assigned thempeasants, the urban (especially Third World) poor, ethnic minorities, and mil-lenarian or syncretic religious sects and allocated other types of mobilization (andnational-level phenomena) to sociologists, political scientists, or historians. Alsoimportant by the mid-1980s, in the United States at least, was anthropologists' fas-cination with everyday as opposed to organized resistance and with microlevelanalyses of power B la Foucault (Burdick 1995). Ethnographic research on socialmovements, moreover, tended to resist grand theoretical generalizations becauseclose-up views of collective action often looked messy, with activist groups andcoalitions forming, dividing, and reassembling and with significant sectors of theirtarget constituencies remaining on the sidelines.This article tells four long stories in a short space. The first is an account of thepost-1960s paradigm shift in social scientific studies of collective action, which,though overly abbreviated and canonical, is necessary for examining the state of thefield today and particularly what transpired when theory traveled beyond Europeand North America. The second is an appraisal of how ideas about periodizationshaped competing post- 1960s analytical frameworks. The third concerns the cen-trifugal and centripetal, or fragmenting and unifying, impacts of identity politics,the disproportionate attention social scientists devote to movements they like, andtheir infrequent efforts to theorize right-wing movements. The fourth story involvesnew developments in social movements themselves, particularly an intensifyingtransnational activism, a disenchantment on the part of diverse activists with iden-tity politics, and a resurgence of varied kinds of struggles against inequality.One of the most striking features of the collective action field is its continu-ing intellectual compartmentalization. Debates have tended to occur along par-allel and disconnected tracks, reflecting different disciplinary personal networksand forms of socialization and inquiry and a major divide separating case studyand grand theory practitioners. One recent effort at synthesis notes that scho-lars of revolutions, strikes, wars, social movements, ethnic mobilizations, demo-cratization, and nationalism have paid little attention to each other's findings(McAdam et a1 2001). Students of right-wing movements rarely engage theoriesabout other kinds of collective action. Despite frequent gestures toward trans-gressing academic boundaries (and notwithstanding occasional successes), anthro-pologists on the one hand and sociologists and political scientists on the otherhave had little impact on or awareness of each other's efforts to understand socialmovements. ' 'One of the few non-regionally focused anthologies on social movements edited by U.S.anthropologists is indicative of this mutual unfamiliarity, despite the inclusion of casestudies-virtually all first-rate-from a range of disciplines. While it may be true that the study of protest outside the industrial North is largely under-theorized (Boudreau1996, p. 175), Fox & Starn (1997) suggest-seemingly unaware of a substantial literature  SOCIAL MOVEMENTS 287 A short article of broad scope can obviously invoke only some theorists andworks (and movements). I emphasize recent work and allude sparingly to the classics of the field and more briefly than I would prefer (or not at all) to variousrelevant issues. Anthropologists, for reasons noted above, are less well representedthan scholars from other disciplines. Geographically, the emphasis of this reviewis on the Americas and Europe, not because significant social movements havenot occurred elsewhere, but because these have been prominent sites of pertinenttheoretical production. Academic books and specialized journals-including thosedevoted to collective action studies, such as Mobilization and Research in SocialMovements, Conflicts and Change-have been key fora for many debates. Becauseactivists and scholars engage each other (and sometimes are each other), someof the most provocative analyses of social movements' visions, strategies, andpractices appear in nonacademic media: hybrid activist-scholarly publications,small journals of opinion, 'zines, web pages, organizing handbooks, and manualsby those who seek to control particular kinds of movements. A CONVENTIONAL STORY OF SHIFTING PARADIGMS In the early 1970s, functionalism still held sway in U.S. sociology. Park andthe Chicago School had, since the 1920s, juxtaposed social organizationn-institutionalized, conventional patterns of everyday life-to collective behav-ior, a category that included crowds, sects, fashions, and mass movements,all of which they saw as simultaneously symptoms of societal disequilibria andharbingers of new patterns of social relations (Park 1967). Smelser (1962) rejectedthe notion of disequilibria as too strong and attributed collective behavior totensions that exceeded the capacity of a social system's homeostatic mechanismsand that constituted a source of new bases of Durkheimian-style solidarity. Relatedpsychological theories explained the rise of totalitarianism as a mass response toeconomic crises and magnetic leaders by individuals with a mob mentality (Arendt 1951) or an authoritarian character (Fromm 1941). These theories abouttotalitarianism were of limited use in analyzing turmoil in largely democratic, af-fluent polities in the 1960s. Olson (1965) advanced a notion that remains a pointof departure for much theorizing. An economist, Olson rejected theories based onthe irrationality of individuals [although he also stated it would be better to turn topsychology than to economics to understand fanatic or lunatic fringe move-ments in unstable countries (1965, pp. 161-62)]. Instead, he posited individuals on contentious politics-that we still know relatively little about the ample and chargedterritory between the cataclysmic upheaval of revolutionary war and the small incidentsof everyday resistance, . . . social struggles where people enter into open protest yet do notseek the total overthrow of the social order (p. 3). Moreover, apart from a few individualsin each group whose work genuinely engages historical documentation and scholarship, thevast literature by historians on collective action tends to be surprisingly underutilized.
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