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  • 1.
    Almén, Oscar
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Burell, Mattias
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Social accountability as social movement outcome: Protests in a Chinese city2018In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 17, no 6, p. 716-735Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Social accountability is a concept that has been used much in development studies and democratic theory to study informal ways for civil society to achieve social change and hold governments accountable. Surprisingly, it has been far less used in social movement scholarship and we argue that social accountability, understood as a combination of answerability, legal claim attainment, and sanction, is a useful way to examine social movement outcomes in China. Social accountability directs the focus of research towards the target of protest and not only whether the protest resulted in policy changes or not. Based on field work in 2013–2015, this article examines four cases of social protests in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. In line with previous research we find that when citizen claims accord with government policies and protesters are well-organized, local authorities tend to accommodate the protesters’ claims. However, answerability and sanction do not always follow the same pattern. Answerability can be relatively high also when legal claims are unsuccessful. This means that cases that are commonly seen as unsuccessful protests because the legal demands were not accommodated may still result in partial social accountability. In addition to the presentation of original empirical findings, the study makes a theoretical contribution by linking the two research fields of social movement and social accountability, which will be of interest to a wider scholarly audience.

  • 2.
    Boström, Magnus
    Stockholm Center for Organizational Research (SCORE), Stockholm, Sweden.
    Cognitive Practices and Collective Identities within a Heterogeneous Social Movement: The Swedish Environmental Movement2004In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 73-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies on social movements have highlighted the importance of cultural and ideational factors. Concepts such as collective identity, cognitive praxis, and framing have been used to better understand the emergence, development, and political and cultural impact of social movements. In this article I draw on different schools of thought in order to develop a new use of the concept of cognitive practice. I suggest the relevance of analysing collective identities and cognitive practices at the organizational level (which does not, per se, exclude analysis at other levels). This emphasis also leads to a perspective that suggest a relational and interaction-oriented way in which to understand how movement organizations try to influence other actors through their cognitive practices. This kind of analysis helps to question the implicit notion of unity in the concept of social movement. The analytical focal points are also useful for discussing possibilities and dilemmas for movement organizations with regard to aspects such as how frames become effective and make frame resonance possible; how compromises and delimitations are built into frames; and how cognitive autonomy may be decreased or preserved. The empirical focus in this article is the Swedish environmental movement, and the identities and cognitive practices of some its organizations in the 1990s. I also discuss the relevance of my findings for the study of movement organizations within other fields

  • 3. Boström, Magnus
    Cognitive Practices and Collective Identities within a Heterogeneous Social Movement: The Swedish Environmental Movement2004In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Social Movement Studies:, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 73-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies on social movements have highlighted the importance of cultural and ideational factors. Concepts such as collective identity, cognitive praxis, and framing have been used to better understand the emergence, development, and political and cultural impact of social movements. In this article I draw on different schools of thought in order to develop a new use of the concept of cognitive practice. I suggest the relevance of analysing collective identities and cognitive practices at the organizational level (which does not, per se, exclude analysis at other levels). This emphasis also leads to a perspective that suggest a relational and interaction-oriented way in which to understand how movement organizations try to influence other actors through their cognitive practices. This kind of analysis helps to question the implicit notion of unity in the concept of social movement. The analytical focal points are also useful for discussing possibilities and dilemmas for movement organizations with regard to aspects such as how frames become effective and make frame resonance possible; how compromises and delimitations are built into frames; and how cognitive autonomy may be decreased or preserved. The empirical focus in this article is the Swedish environmental movement, and the identities and cognitive practices of some its organizations in the 1990s. I also discuss the relevance of my findings for the study of movement organizations within other fields

  • 4.
    Coe, Anna-Britt
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Being in the spaces where decisions are made: Reproductive rights advocacy and policy influence in two regions of Peru2009In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 8, no 4, p. 427-447Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the 1990s, some segments of Latin American feminist movements shifted to advocacy strategies to influence government policies. Long-standing social movement theories predict that this tactical change to institutional means has two possible consequences for a movement: either it gains greater influence over policy arenas and becomes more effective in achieving outcomes, or it loses capacity to carry out protest tactics and becomes less effective in achieving outcomes. However, empirical studies on Latin American feminist organizations intervening in policies, and recent social movement theorizing, indicate that the relationship between social movements and policy influence is more complex. Moreover, these theories have been formulated based on empirical studies in contexts with established democratic frameworks and institutions. The study presented here employed Grounded Theory to examine inductively the research questions of how reproductive rights organizations carry out advocacy to influence government policies in Peru. Data was collected through participant observation and focus group discussions among two reproductive rights coalitions in the regions of Arequipa and Cusco. The findings indicate that the reproductive rights coalitions develop a multiplicity of interactions with government officials, as a means to influence policies through various channels and handle constraints on their ability to act as independent pressure groups. In addition, the findings show that the coalitions deal with a wide range of factors to influence policies: organizational capacity, advocacy strategies, issue frames, relationships with other policy actors as well as political and social aspects that facilitate or hinder advocacy. The study concludes that the relationship between social movements and policy influence is more complex than portrayed by long-standing theories. Instead, the findings are consistent with, and enhance the scholarship on Latin American feminist organizations involved in policies, as well as recent social movement theorizing that takes into account how various factors affect social movement influence on policies.

  • 5.
    Coe, Anna-Britt
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Sandberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Gender beliefs as a dimension of tactical choice: the 'Take Back the Night' march in Sweden2019In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 18, no 5, p. 622-638Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two main explanations of tactical choice among social movements are repertoires of contention and characteristics of collective actors. Feminist theorizing suggests another dimension of tactical choice: the role of gender beliefs. This paper examines the relationship between these three explanations by drawing on a qualitative study that explored how activist groups in Sweden selected the 'Take Back the Night' (TBTN) march as a tactic. Begun in the 1970s, the TBTN march has been performed around the world, usually on central city streets at nighttime, to protest gender violence in spaces presumed to be gender neutral and safe for women. Our findings resulted in three themes that captured how activist groups selected it as a tactic: a routine performance in publicly visible urban settings, alignment with preferred forms of feminist organizing, and refusal of normalized fear and violence in the seemingly safe city. Each theme corresponded to one of the three explanations and shed light on a different dimension of tactical choice. We propose three heuristic tools for identifying these dimensions: making claims, enacting claims and reclaiming spaces. The different dimensions relate to distinct conceptions of power: centralized authority, movement agency and gender power relations respectively.

  • 6.
    Dahlberg-Grundberg, Michael
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Örestig, Johan
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Extending the local: activist types and forms of social media use in the case of an anti-mining struggle2017In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 309-322Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As political activists increasingly use social media in local protests, scholars must redirect attention from large-scale campaigns to scrutinize the ways in which geographically confined actors use social media to engage in protests. This paper analyses how a 2013 anti-mining campaign in Kallak, Sweden, combined on-site resistance with social media strategies via Facebook-pages. The study examines which activist roles and forms of social media use that emerged and aims to explore what larger practical and theoretical implications one can derive from this specific case of place-based struggles. Results show that three typologically distinct activist roles emerged during the protests: local activists, digital movement intellectuals and digital distributors. These different types of actors were involved in four different forms of social media use: mobilization, construction of the physical space, extension of the local and augmentation of local and translocal bonds. Based on our findings, we argue that the coming together of these different activist roles and the different uses of social media added a translocal dimension to the peripheral and physically remote political conflict in Kallak. Media users were able to extend a locally and physically situated protest by linking it to a global contentious issue such as the mining boom and its consequences for indigenous populations.

  • 7.
    Galis, Vasilis
    et al.
    IT University of Copenhagen.
    Summerton, Jane
    Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Mobility, actors and planning processes.
    We are all foreigners in an analogue world: cyber-material alliances in contesting immigration control in Stockholm’s metro system2017In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Public spaces are often contested sites involving the political use of socio-material arrangements to check, control and filter the flow of people. In Sweden, the recently established police project (REVA) in is an attempt to strengthen ‘internal border’ controls. This paper discusses the emergence of practices in which activist groups organized and performed resistance through the use of counter technologies in the transport sector. We explain how a hybrid alliance of human and nonhuman others generated new virtual and urban spaces and provided temporary autonomous zones, to groups of undocumented immigrants. REVA Spotter, for example, was a tool, a manifesto and a peaceful means of resistance to the REVA policing methods through continuous Facebook status updates on identity checks at metro stations in Stockholm. The technology enabled reports on location and time of ticket controls to warn travellers in real time. Attempts by authorities to exert control over the ‘spatial’ underground were thereby circumvented by the effective development of an alternative infrastructural ‘underground’ consisting of assemblages of technologies, activists, undocumented immigrants, texts and emails, smart phones and computers. Based on ‘netnographic observations’ and interviews, the paper utilizes the case of the REVA to illustrate processes and practices that simultaneously configure the powerful surveyor, the discriminated and those who contest these politics through hybridities of cyber/material, human/nonhuman and urban/virtual space. The paper argues that by configuring such hybrid alliances, activists provided cyber-material autonomy to undocumented immigrants and other travellers in the metro, thereby creating new virtual and urban spaces for mobility and flows.

  • 8.
    Holdo, Markus
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
    Cooptation and non-cooptation: elite strategies in response to social protest2019In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 18, no 4, p. 444-462Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The risk of cooptation – of being absorbed by powerful elites without gaining new advantages – is an important concern in studies of social movements and social change. Through cooptation, elites undermine movements by stripping them of their credibility as agents of change. This paper aims to explain why, despite its powerful rationale, cooptation does not occur more frequently. Building on political process theory and relational sociology, it demonstrates that cooptation appears rational only on the condition that cooperation is valued lower than political domination. But elite-movement interaction may result in mutually strategic relationships that are conditional on each side’s recognition of the other’s interest. Two empirical cases illustrate this possibility: the US Civil Rights Movement and Latin American participatory budgeting. In both cases, the actors involved chose a strategy of "mutually assured autonomy" over cooptation.

  • 9.
    Jacobsson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Lindblom, Jonas
    Mälardalens högskola.
    Moral reflexivity and dramaturgical action in social movement activism: The case of the Plowshares and Animal Rights Sweden2012In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 41-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing on Durkheim's sociology of morality, which identifies ideals and norms as the key components of morality, this article outlines a theoretical model for understanding how social movements can bring about legitimate social change. Social movement activists, we propose, can be conceptualized as followers and pursuers of sacred ideals. As such, they frequently come into conflict with existing norms in society. To manage this dilemma, activists must downplay their role as norm breakers while emphasizing their identity as followers of ideals. This in turn requires moral reflexivity in the staging of collective action. The article shows how dramaturgical control (Goffman) is exercised towards this end among activists engaged in two social movements in Sweden: the Plowshares peace movement and Animal Rights Sweden. The article further examines the internal stratification, or ‘moral hierarchies’, within the two activist groups in the light of the proposed model. The closer the activists were able to adhere to the sacred ideal, the higher the social status they enjoyed within the group.

  • 10.
    Jacobsson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Södertörn University School of Social Sciences.
    Lindblom, Jonas
    Mälardalen University, School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology.
    Moral Reflexivity and Dramaturgical Action in Social Movement Activism: The Case of the Plowshares and Animal Rights Sweden2012In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 40-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing on Durkheim's sociology of morality, which identifies ideals and norms as the key components of morality, this article outlines a theoretical model for understanding how social movements can bring about legitimate social change. Social movement activists, we propose, can be conceptualized as followers and pursuers of sacred ideals. As such, they frequently come into conflict with existing norms in society. To manage this dilemma, activists must downplay their role as norm breakers while emphasizing their identity as followers of ideals. This in turn requires moral reflexivity in the staging of collective action. The article shows how dramaturgical control (Goffman) is exercised towards this end among activists engaged in two social movements in Sweden: the Plowshares peace movement and Animal Rights Sweden. The article further examines the internal stratification, or ‘moral hierarchies’, within the two activist groups in the light of the proposed model. The closer the activists were able to adhere to the sacred ideal, the higher the social status they enjoyed within the group.

  • 11.
    Jacobsson, Kerstin
    et al.
    Göteborgs universitet.
    Sörbom, Adrienne
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    After a Cycle of Contention: Post-Gothenburg Strategies of Left-Libertarian Activists in Sweden2015In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 14, no 6, p. 713-732Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article considers the strategic choices that radical activists face when a cycle of contention ends. It investigates the re-orientation of the autonomous anarchists or left-libertarian activist milieu in Sweden after the riots at the Gothenburg summit in 2001, which ended a cycle of anti-globalization protests in Sweden. The article identifies five strategies by which this activist milieu attempted to reconstruct collective agency, build a new alliance structure and renew the repertoire of contention: 1) rescaling and targeting of micro-politics; 2) moving from secluded to open communities; 3) rethinking collective agency with the help of a new movement theory; 4) reversing dominant discourses and opening up discursive space; and 5) redefining militancy and shelving of violent confrontation. The study builds on activist interviews and ethnographic research in Stockholm and Malmö.

  • 12.
    Kaun, Anne
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Media and Communication Studies.
    Treré, Emiliano
    Cardiff University, Cardiff ,UK.
    Repression, resistance and lifestyle: charting (dis)connection and activism in times of accelerated capitalism2018In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studying the nexus of media and social movements is a growing subfield in both media and social movement studies. Although there is an increasing number of studies that criticize the overemphasis of the importance of media technologies for social movements, questions of non-use, technology push-back and media refusal as explicit political practice have received comparatively little attention. The article charts a typology of digital disconnection as political practice and site of struggle bringing emerging literatures on disconnection, i.e. forms of media technology non-use to the field of social movement studies and studies of civic engagement. Based on a theoretical matrix combining questions of power, collectivity and temporality, we distinguish between digital disconnection as repression, digital disconnection as resistance and digital disconnection as performance and life-style politics. The article discusses the three types of digital disconnection using current examples of protest and social movements that engage with practices of disconnection.

  • 13.
    Merrill, Samuel
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Lindgren, Simon
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    The rhythms of social movement memories: the mobilization of Silvio Meier’s activist remembrance across platforms2018In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents a temporal analysis of the activist remembrance of Silvio Meier, a prominent member of Berlin’s radical left scene, who was stabbed to death in 1992. It asks: when has Meier’s activist remembrance occurred and been remediated, with what rhythms, and how has it been influenced by different platforms? To answer these questions, the article draws on the literature dedicated to the interface between social movements and collective and connective memory, and applies Lefebvre’s rhythmanalysis approach. Within this approach a diverse set of material is used to visualise the timing of the digital and non-digital remediation and mobilisation of Meier’s remembrance across different platforms of memory including commemorative events, newspapers, websites and social media. Thereafter the various temporalities of use associated with these platforms and how they can influence the mobilisation of remembrance by social movements is discussed using Lefebvre’s concepts of polyrhythmia, arrhythmia, isorhythmia, eurhythmia and with respect to, firstly, a fifteen-year period between 2002 and 2017 and secondly, a fifteen-day period between 15 November and 30 November 2012 around the twentieth anniversary of Meier’s death. The article concludes by introducing another Lefebvrian concept – dressage – in order to consider which rhythms of activist remembrance might most benefit social movements and their goals. Overall, by demonstrating the importance of attending to the when and not only the what, who, where and how of social movement memories and by highlighting the need to consider the temporal influence of the different digital and non-digital platforms that activists use, as well as, by indicating the broader potential of applying rhythmanalysis approaches to instances of activism, the article has broader relevance for the further study of social movements, their use of different media and their mobilization of memory.

  • 14.
    Piotrowski, Grzegorz
    Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.
    Green Activism in Post-Socialist Europe and the former Soviet Union2016In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 242-244Article, book review (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Thörn, Håkan
    et al.
    Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Svenberg, Sebastian
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    "We feel the responsibility that you shirk': movement institutionalization, the politics of responsibility and the case of the Swedish environmental movement2016In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 15, no 6, p. 593-609Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article provides directions for advancing the conceptualization of the relationship between social movements and institutionalization, based on a case study of the Swedish environmental movement strategies. We argue that the concepts of (de) responsibilization and (de) politicization provide tools for an improved analysis of the dynamics of how social movements interact both with established political institutions and corporations in a new context. The introduction of new regulatory frameworks in environmental politics has shaped interaction between social movements and the state in new ways, involving neoliberal responsibilization, meaning active involvement by civil society and business in political responsibilities previously associated with state agencies - a development involving an increasing emphasis on market mechanisms. We argue that this has involved a de-politicization of environmental issues in the sense that it engages political actors in a moral discourse and a technocratic practice that suppresses the (potential) articulation of social conflict through consensus building. However, we also show how movement actors resist the discourse that encourages them to take on certain responsibilities, thus engaging in a politics of responsibility. Empirically, we demonstrate how the changing strategies of the Swedish environmental movement in the 2000s need to be understood in relation to the following processes, indicating that the Swedish case has a general relevance for an understanding of the contemporary environmental movement globally: (1) the transformation of the Swedish model of welfare capitalism under the influence of neoliberal discourse; (2) international environmental policy developments, most importantly the emergence of climate change as a dominant issue globally.

  • 16.
    Vestergren, Sara
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Drury, John
    University of Sussex, England.
    Hammar Chiriac, Eva
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Psychology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    The biographical consequences of protest and activism: a systematic review and a new typology2017In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 16, no 2, p. 203-221Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most research on activist participation has aimed to explain motives to engage in protest and collective action or becoming an activist. The outcomes, for the individual, have been neglected. Therefore, we set out to systematically document and organize the psychological and behavioural changes associated with activism into a typology of change. The review contains 57 papers describing changes. Psychological changes identified in the literature can be classified into 19 main forms: marital status, children, relationship ties, work-life/career, extended involvement, consumer behaviour, identity, empowerment, radicalization/politicization, legitimacy, sustained commitment, self-esteem, general well-being, traits, self-confidence, religion, organizing, knowledge and home skills. Our analysis highlights the lack of analysis of the relation between type of protest and type of change, and lack of research into the processes behind the various psychological changes. What is needed now is more precise investigation of the relationship between types of protests, social and psychological processes, and psychological outcomes. Further, more longitudinal studies are required to explore the relationship.

  • 17.
    Wettergren, Åsa
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Social and Life Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
    Fun and Laughter:: Culture Jamming and the Emotional Regime of Late Capitalism2009In: Social Movement Studies, ISSN 1474-2837, E-ISSN 1474-2829, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 1-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract

    The fusion of means and ends is a characteristic of new social movements, but the literature on emotions in social movements tends to focus on the way that emotion management constitutes part of the means for protest, leaving out the construction of alternative emotional regimes as a possible goal in it-self. The article addresses this issue through the analysis of the meanings and uses of fun as a core emotion in culture jamming. The data underlying the analysis consist of texts and visuals from the websites of five groups, seven in-depth interviews, two participant observations, and the book Culture Jam.

    The emotional regime of late capitalism produces a tension between what may be articulated as a divide between true and fake emotions, reflected in the understanding of real fun in culture jamming. Fun here is strongly reminiscent of the utopian laughter of the medieval carnival, challenging the existing order, offering glimpses of another (possible) world. Fun in culture jamming is used also in a micropolitical play with the feeling rules of late capitalism, where emotional self-discipline and control of anger are pivotal but the provocation of anger in the opponent becomes a small victory. Meanwhile, jammers channel their own anger into fun. Understood as an expression of emotional energy, fun constitutes the instant activist individual reward, yet based on group solidarity and commitment and a loosely defined collective identity. Through all these aspects, fun and pleasure in culture jamming are not only a means of protest but also an end of protest, most evident in the utopian laughter. But fun is also an end when the rules of the emotional regime of late capitalism are used to generate small victories, and when fun as EE fuels individual self-esteem and becomes a protection against activist burnout.

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