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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $20.31
  • July 2009
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97845-2
  • 304 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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  1. Sociology

A Primer on Social Movements

Contemporary Societies Series


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David A. Snow (Author, University of California, Irvine), Sarah A. Soule (Author, Stanford University)


A brief, affordable introduction to collective behavior and social movements.

Award-winning sociologists David Snow and Sarah Soule draw from a broad range of theories including political sociology, theories of organizations, and the study of culture and social interaction to introduce the essential ideas for analyzing social movements.


A brief, affordable alternative

At around 200 pages, Social Movements is an ideal introduction to the central questions facing sociologists today. The authors draw on a range of theoretical sources to examine five key questions about collective behavior and social movements:

  • What are the conditions that account for the generation of mobilizing grievances?
  • What are the contextual conditions that facilitate or constrain the emergence and flourishing of social movements?
  • Why do only certain individuals come to participate in movement activity while other similarly situated individuals sit on the sidelines?
  • How do social movements go about the business of strategically pressing their claims and dealing with the various relevant actors within their field of operation?
  • What difference do movements make, and for whom and in what ways?

Two of today’s most prominent scholars of social movements and collective behavior

David Snow and Sarah Soule are both highly regarded researchers in the field. David Snow has taught at the University of Texas, Austin, the University of Arizona, and the University of California, Irvine, and is best known for his research on homelessness and poverty. Sarah Soule studies the role of social movements in the formation of states’ and organizations’ policies and has taught at Stanford, Cornell, and the University of Arizona.

    Chapter 1. Conceptualizing Social Movements

    Chapter 2. Mobilizing Grievances

    Chapter 3. Contextual Conditions

    Chapter 4. Participation

    Chapter 5. Dynamics

    Chapter 6. Consequences