Identity-Power-Politics, or Social Movements Inside Out: A Critical Feminist Perspective on Social Movements
Latin American Studies Association, Pittsburgh, March 10-12, 1994
Posted: 2 Jul 2012
Date Written: March 10, 1994
Drawing on social movement debates in the period of the 1960s to the 1990s, and especially on Alberto Melucci's argument, this paper critically addresses the 'ontologization' of social movements as a concept in the social sciences. The goal is to conribute to the broader concept of a de-ontologisation of social movements in order to account for - hidden - social movement practices.To do that, the paper proceeds in four steps. It first summarises the critique of social movement theories in the 1990s; second, it recalls identity politics, especially within the context of gender struggles within the broader social movement environment; third, it offers a critical feminist review of social movement theories, focusing in particular on the concept of collective identity in Jane Jenson's work; and forth, it proposes a critical-feminist framework of analysis with a view to accomplishing the de-ontologisation of social movement - as practice.
Keywords: identity, power, social movements, collective action, ontologisation, practices, gender
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