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May 2022

Constructivist analysis and movement organizations: Conceptual clarifications

Journal/Book: Acta Sociol. 1996; 39: PO Box 2959 Toyen, Journal Division, Customer Service, N-0608 Oslo, Norway. Scandinavian University Press. 169-186.

Abstract: From the 1980s onwards a constructivist viewpoint has developed within the sociology of social movements. This new position is characterized by a multitude of different and partly contradictory meanings. Further discussion of some of the key issues within this perspective is needed in order to understand more precisely how social movements and movement organizations are constructed. Two basic elements of constructivist analysis are proposed: the capacity of movement organizations to construct a powerful identity and effective strategies, and the given opportunities in society to defend or advance the ideology of the movement organizations. The conclusion is that such a conceptual framework could further our understanding of the internal and external factors which produce what we know as movement organizations.

Note: Article U Hjelmar, Roskilde Univ Ctr, Dept Social Sci & Business Econ, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

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