Britta Baumgarten, Priska Daphi and Peter Ullrich (eds.) (2014): Conceptualizing Culture in Social Movement Research, Houndsmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Blog post written by Peter Ullrich

Baumgarten et al. 2014Britta Baumgarten, Priska Daphi, and Peter Ullrich have edited a collected volume on cultural analyses of social movements which just came out with Palgrave. The book „Conceptualizing Culture in Social Movement Research“ resulted from several author workshops organized by the editors together with the research network „New Perspectives on Social Movements and Protest“.

In line with the general ideas of the network (bringing state-of-the-art theoretical debate from the social sciences to protest research) they systematicallv address some lacunas in the existing cultural approches to social movements. Many experienced and younger scholars from different countries elaborate specific theories and apply them to the subject of social movement research. Chapters were written by the editors, James Jasper, June Nash, Laurence Cox, Reiner Keller, Jochen Roose, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Nicole Doerr, Jeffrey Juris, Olga Malets, Sabrina Zajak, and Erik Neveu (table of contents).

Luckily, large parts of the book can be acessed for free on Google Books. It is also possible to buy copies with a discount with this flyer.

The publisher announces it as follows:

Culture has become a prominent concept in social movement research. It is, however, often employed in an unsystematic and limited way. This volume introduces and compares different concepts of culture in social movement research. It assesses advantages and shortcomings of existing concepts and introduces new approaches. In particular, it addresses facets of cultural theory that have hitherto been largely neglected in the literature on social movements. This includes ideas from anthropology, discourse analysis, sociology of emotions, narration, spatial theory, and others. The chapters in this volume address three relationships between social movements and culture: culture as a framework for movements, social movements’ internal culture, and culture and cultural change as a result of social movement activity. For the purpose of making concepts easily accessible, each contribution explains its approach to culture in an understandable way and illustrates it with recent cases of mobilization.

The book already had quite a warm reception. Read what others said about the book:

A valuable and timely contribution. The authors and editors of this terrific volume provide the tools for figuring out how culture matters to movements with a useful conceptual framework and case studies chock-full of theoretical insights. (Francesca Polletta, University of California, Irvine).

In line with the more general cultural turn in the social sciences, this state of the art collection of essays and analyses provides stimulating ideas and insights into theoretical, methodological and empirical aspects of culture in social movements. It is a must for both curious newcomers and experienced scholars working in this field (Dieter Rucht, Prof. em., Free University Berlin and WZB Berlin Social Science Center)/i>.