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Collective Movements and Protest

The study of collective movements and protest has roots in the 19th century and has long been part of the social sciences curriculum. In the 1970s, new theoretical approaches and new empirical methodologies revitalized the field. The next several decades witnessed an efflorescence of research by practitioners of various social science disciplines—especially sociology, but also political science, history, and anthropology. Some researchers focused on the internal dynamics of collective mobilizations, including interpersonal processes; others addressed the ways broad social and political contexts shaped movements and were shaped by them. Building on the scholarly advances of the previous 30 years, researchers in the early 21st century have been raising new questions.

Historical Background

Social and political transformation in the recent past and anticipated future led Americans and Europeans ...

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