Social Movements As Sites of Social Development

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Elise Richter Saal (Main Building)
RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements (host committee)

Language: English

Social movements are a crucible in which activists collectively generate new forms of social organization as they attempt to make new subjects, worlds and histories in the context of – and in response to – the old; they may equally be moments of stymied progress where few advances are made on critical questions facing movements and the social groups they represent. 
Whereas recent scholarship on social movements has emphasized their microfoundations, conceived as strategic interactions and choice-points, it has tended to play down the more macro-level, longer-lasting features of capitalist societies (including their historical encoding of class, race, gender, and nationality) and the often-contradictory nature of these features. 
In favor of analytic formalism, social movement studies have largely abandoned systematic social criticism. This formalist turn also tends to play down the extent to which movements are a site of collective learning. Reticence about social critique leads analysts to abjure judgments about whether and how collective action leads toward or away from social development. 
Emerging Marxist scholarship on social movements has attempted to join the focus on on-the-ground interaction typical of formalist theories with the analyses of the larger, structured dynamics of capitalism and class; and as a body of work grounded in a theory of the “self-emancipation of the working class” (variously defined), its central concern is movement development towards more encompassing modes of social action on social identities. This session welcomes papers that focus on efforts to weave together theories of strategy and learning and larger-scale historical and social contradictions.
Session Organizer:
John KRINSKY, City College New York, USA
Colin BARKER, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
John KRINSKY, City College New York, USA
Social Movement Schools: Movement Resource in Performative Challenges for Change
Larry ISAAC, Vanderbilt University, USA; Anna JACOBS, Vanderbilt University, USA; Jaime KUCINSKAS, Hamilton College, USA; Allison MCGRATH, Vanderbilt University, USA
New Molecular Intellectuals and the Making Sense of Action in Social Movements
Francesco ANTONELLI, Università degli Studi "Roma Tre", Italy