The significance of social movement theory to anarchism
in Black flags and social movements
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This chapter explores the usefulness of social movement theories for understanding anarchist movements. It focuses on structural strain or value-added theory, class or Marxian theories, world-systems analysis, the Eros Effect, relative deprivation and grievances, resource mobilization, frame alignment, Charles Tilly's work, and the dynamics of contention. John Lofland, an American sociologist, has claimed that continual back-and-forth arguments around social movement theory are counterproductive; he argues that "theory-bashing" is far less important than "question answering". Lofland describes some questions, which he claims are central for social movement students to understand; he focuses specifically on social movement organizations (SMOs) as the unit of analysis. The focus of the questions includes beliefs, organization, causes, membership, strategies, reactions, and effects. The chapter re-states each of Lofland's questions and then provides a general answer for contemporary anarchist movements.

Black flags and social movements

A sociological analysis of movement anarchism


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