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Solidarity, Justice, and IncorporationThinking through The Civil Sphere$
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Peter Kivisto and Giuseppe Sciortino

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199811908

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199811908.001.0001

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Social Movements, Civil Repair, and Social Movement Theory

Social Movements, Civil Repair, and Social Movement Theory

(p.96) 4 Social Movements, Civil Repair, and Social Movement Theory
Solidarity, Justice, and Incorporation

Mario Diani

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by asking why social movement scholars have paid so little attention to The Civil Sphere, given the centrality Alexander attaches to social movements. It offers a judicious overview of Alexander’s understanding of this contested sociological subfield, including a discussion of his understanding of forms of collective behavior other than social movements. The chapter proceeds to question whether the cases used by Alexander—the civil rights movement and the women’s movement—are typical or atypical. It also ponders where “distasteful” social movements fit into the scheme. This leads to a critical assessment of Alexander’s theoretical approach, given that his cultural sociology is obviously grounded in the “cultural turn” in the discipline, an approach that does not seem entirely convincing, the chapter argues.

Keywords:   civil rights movement, collective behavior, cultural sociology, social movements, women’s movement

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