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Social sciences and social movements: the theoretical context


  • Giovanni A. Travaglino


This manuscript situates the papers of this special issue within the broader context of social movement research. It discusses the historical and theoretical significance of the four main perspectives in the field of social movement, namely the collective behaviour paradigm, the resource mobilisation approach, the political opportunity model and the cultural turn in social movement studies. Each of these perspectives has highlighted the importance of different units and levels of analysis pertaining to the study of social movements, including the role of grievances, organisational and political structures and meanings associated with participation. As a result, the field is highly receptive to multidisciplinary dialogue and to relations of mutual influences among different disciplines. The next step in social movement studies consists in the elaboration of a coherent framework of research which links the different levels of analysis and dimensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanni A. Travaglino, 2014. "Social sciences and social movements: the theoretical context," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 1-14, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:1:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2013.851406

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