Social Movements, Protest and Strategic Practices

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This chapter addresses the issue of definition of “social movement,” which reveals how different theoretical traditions conceptualize the authors' object of study. It then moves from actor to action: what do movements do? The chapter sets out the movement activity that constitutes the movement as such. Developing interpretative frames, collective identities, and coordination mechanisms are key ways in which movements bootstrap themselves into existence. The chapter considers the ways in which movements attempt to generate social change. The classic forms of protest are collective actions and thus dovetail neatly with the conception of a social movement as a collective actor. But more individualized forms of change-oriented have also become frequent subjects of research. The chapter explains a variety of more individualized strategies for social change: from “lifestyle movements” to Bayat's “quiet encroachment of the ordinary”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Sociology
EditorsGeorge Ritzer, Wendy Wiedenhoft Murphy
Place of PublicationMalden, MA
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd
Number of pages18
EditionSecond Edition
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2019


  • social movements
  • protest
  • practices
  • Strategy
  • collective action


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