Some Theoretical Issues on XXI Century Social Movements

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Antimo Luigi FARRO, Sapienza University Of Rome, Italy
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the theories of social movements in the XXI century. According to some empirical and theoretical studies, collective movements such as Occupy Wall Street or Umbrella Movement, are characterized by a subjective affirmation, which represents a personal path of liberation from systemic domination forces (as global financial groups, cultural model makers, as well as authoritarian political powers) that shapes the individual life. Within this frame, we can define a XXI century collective movement as a common agency led by individual subjects who aim to affirm themselves as self-directed social actors, and pursue universalistic alternatives to dominant cultural, economic, and social systemic orientations. These individual subjects carry on a common action that seeks to identify and challenge its opponents – the systemic forces conditioning systemic development – in order to control the direction of those systemic orientations. Then, the collective movement constitutes the highest level of intervention, which aims , on one hand, to construct conflicts with systemic forces and, on the other hand, to integrate these problematic relationships through the regeneration of institutional system. Therefore, these collective initiatives take on meaning as a subjectivization of collective action, in which individuals struggle for the affirmation and recognition of their political, social and cultural rights. Following these subjective and collective goals, social actors pursue a broader definition of universal rights of all human beings.