Social Movements

Charles Tilly

in Regimes and Repertoires

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780226803500
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226803531 | DOI:
Social Movements

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This chapter investigates how social movements work. Social movements differ from other forms of contentious politics in their combination of sustained campaigns of claim-making, an exceptional array of claim-making performances, and concerted displays of supporters' worthiness, unity, numbers, and commitment. From their eighteenth-century origins onward, social movements have proceeded not as solo acts but as interactive campaigns that target holders of power, political actors and the general public. They combine three kinds of claims: claims to identity, standing, and specific programs. The relative salience of these claims varies significantly among social movements, among claimants within movements, and among phases of movements. Regimes necessarily shape social movements. They also shape repertoires. Demonstrations best illustrate the synthesis of campaigns, performances, and worthiness, unity, numbers, and commitment (WUNC) displays. Most social-movement activity across the world occurs within local, regional, and national frames.

Keywords: social movements; contentious politics; interactive campaigns; regimes; repertoires; demonstrations

Chapter.  10982 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative and Historical Sociology

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