Social Movements: Contemporary Perspectives
Dianne Dentice, Editor

Social movements continue to provide rich fodder for social researchers in the twenty-first century. This reader gives range and depth to ongoing debates about what constitutes a social movement, what motivates actors to participate in social movements, and how social movements continue to evolve in post-industrial societies such as the United States. Not all social movements are about positive social change and some movements have been and will be destructive. The nine essays contained in this text represent classical movements such as the Oneida utopian movement of nineteenth century America and contemporary emerging movements such as the church-growth movement. The authors examine movements that are attempting to revitalize American health care and religious practice along with movements that are counter to social justice such as the white supremacist movement.Was Jonestown a cult or social movement? How does a charismatic leader such as John Humphrey Noyes sell the notion of selective breeding to Oneida communitarians? What is motivating people to participate in the contemporary communal movement in the United States? Such questions are fundamental to our understanding of the emergence and sustainability of social movements. This reader provides authoritative answers to these questions and many more as well as providing a basis for further thought and discussion among students of social movements.While this volume does not attempt to present a unified theory of social movements, the authors apply different theoretical approaches to their explanation of the movements they write about. Authors represent various disciplines such as anthropology, education, and sociology and specialty areas such as criminal justice, immigration, and religion. This multidisciplinary approach adds to the appeal of this reader; with the goal of accessibility to a wide range of audiences who are interested in social movement phenomena, both past and present.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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