Putting Social Movements in their Place

Putting Social Movements in their Place : Explaining Opposition to Energy Projects in the United States, 2000-2005

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The field of social movement studies has expanded dramatically over the past three decades. But as it has done so, its focus has become increasingly narrow and 'movement-centric'. When combined with the tendency to select successful struggles for study, the conceptual and methodological conventions of the field conduce to a decidedly Ptolemaic view of social movements: one that exaggerates the frequency and causal significance of movements as a form of politics. This book reports the results of a comparative study, not of movements, but of communities earmarked for environmentally risky energy projects. In stark contrast to the central thrust of the social movement literature, the authors find that the overall level of emergent opposition to the projects has been very low, and they seek to explain that variation and the impact, if any, it had on the ultimate fate of the proposed projects.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 13 b/w illus. 1 map 23 tables
  • 1139105817
  • 9781139105811

Review quote

'... Putting Social Movements in their Place makes significant contributions to the field. Eschewing the internal study of one movement for a more community-based and holistic appraisal of where and why movements begin is a fruitful move ... This book is valuable and often compelling and should generate other important research.' Elizabeth Long, American Journal of Sociology
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Table of contents

1. From Copernicus to Ptolemy and (hopefully) back again; 2. Comparing communities 'at risk' for mobilization; 3. Explaining variation in the level of opposition to energy projects; 4. Does opposition matter?: Mobilization and project outcome; 5. From not my back yard to not in anyone's back yard: the emergence of regional movements against liquefied natural gas; 6. Back to the future: returning to a Copernican approach to the study of contention.
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