Epistemological Assumptions of the Sociology of Social Movements and Social Theory

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30-19:20
RC47 Social Classes and Social Movements (host committee)

Language: English

This session seeks to analyze the epistemological assumptions of the sociology of social movements in order to discuss the matrices of thought that have contributed to configure the so called "social movements theories".

The founders of sociology discussed movements, protests, struggles, conflicts, mobs, unions, association and revolution (Stein, Weber, Durkheim, Simmel, Tarde…). Sociology continued to pay attention to social movements when discussing societies and its changes. Many social theories payed attention to movements and some gave them a central role  (Parsons, Luhmann, Eisenstadt, Wallerstein, Foucault, Habermas, Touraine, Castells, Melucci, Giddens, Beck, Bauman, Honneth, Urry...). This linkage had been weakened through the middle-range-theorization of movement studies after 1990s and the specialization and subdivision of sociology itself.

Recently we can see the moves to reconstruct the linkage between the social theories and movement studies like Social Theory and Social Movements: Mutual Inspirations (2014) and Global Modernity and Social Contestation (2015). Behind these, there could be the uprising of movements like Arab spring, Occupy movements, and globalization of alt-right movements, and the criticism toward “acritically” extensions of Western-centered theories into non-Western societies. In Asia, we also hear the dissatisfactions about dominant middle-range theory of movements and the necessity to revitalize theoretical research and relativize Western-centered theories. This session would like to ask the presentations which reconstruct the linkage: the research about social movement theory, about the positioning of movements in the social theory by theorists described above, and about the relations between various theories and movements.

Session Organizers:
Eiji HAMANISHI, Notre Dame Seishin University, Japan and Breno BRINGEL, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Eiji HAMANISHI, Notre Dame Seishin University, Japan
Oral Presentations
Reflexivity in Sociological Theories and Social Movement Theories
Shujiro YAZAWA, Center of Glocal Studies, Seijo University, Japan
Social Movements Studies Beyond the Core: Theories and Research in Post-Colonial and Post-Socialist Societies
Laurence COX, Maynooth University, Ireland; Alf NILSEN, University of Agder, Norway
Time and Social Movements
Kevin GILLAN, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
What We Gain By Centering Agency in Social Movement Epistemology
Ben MANSKI, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA