Future into the Study of Social Movements: Possibilities for Newly Conceived Research Perspectives and Methodological Innovations
Sociologists, as other social scientists, have expanded our knowledge and understanding through new research topics and perspectives, and methodological innovations. Our knowledge of social movements is no exception. Its development and expansion has been brought about by newly conceived research perspectives and development in research methodology. For instance, analyzing visualized materials as forms of movement action, such as photos and film footages, brings us a new analytical horizon that we did not fully explore in the past. Conceptualizing social movement as a product of networking of individuals and organizations has been with us for some time; yet, it was not until the arrival of newly developed computer-assisted techniques that enable us to do network analysis with empirical data that this conceptualization had not fully born fruit.
Turning our eyes to the present, what do we have in our hands that would advance our knowledge? While refining current skills and deepening present knowledge are important, we still need to have an idea that will become a seed for an innovation we will be able to ride for the next decades.
In this section, we call for innovative ideas - wild thoughts and unceasing dreams – and methods that would advance our research activities into our future study of social movements.