Topics in Social Movements: Social Movement Communities and Coalitions

Mo 2:00PM - 4:30PM / 2800 Wesley W Posvar Hall / CRN 30325

This course will focus on social movement communities and their ability to form coalitions to carry out collective campaigns. The concept of a social movement community draws attention to the multiple venues in which movements take root and develop. In addition to political movement organizations, movement communities include loose networks of activists and organizations; individuals who share movement goals but are not necessarily members of organized groups; cultural groups and events; alternative institutions; and institutionalized movement supporters. Coalitions include both formal and informal alliances that form when movement communities organize for collective action. Key theoretical questions to be explored in the course include the following: How are movements maintained through the structures, networks, and culture of movement communities? How are political and cultural elements of movement communities interconnected, and how and when do cultural forms support political ends? How do the networks  and structures of movement communities come together to support movement campaigns? What  are the challenges for different types of coalitions, including coalitions within and across movement communities and local and international coalitions? How do movement campaigns affect movement communities and coalitions? 

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Suzanne Staggenborg

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Course Category

Category C: Cultural Antagonisms and Cultural Crises

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