Dana M. Williams
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Anarchism as a “new social movement”?
in Black flags and social movements
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Few sociological perspectives excel at summarizing the character of anarchist movements, with the exception of those grouped under the moniker of "new social movement" (NSM) theories. This chapter presents the essential dimensions of these theories, paying close attention to how each dimension may be applied. It scrutinises the examples and characteristics drawn from anarchist movements, including ideology, organizations, and strategy, with the NSM framework. The chapter describes differences between the contemporary anarchist movement and other NSMs. In their summary of NSM ideas, Philip W. Sutton and Stephen Vertigans suggested six key features: post-industrial and post-material politics, new social constituencies, anti-hierarchical organization, symbolic direct actions, self-limiting radicalism, and new identities. The chapter argues that anarchism closely follows Sutton and Vertigans' six NSM characteristics and describes these connections in detail, noting important areas of divergence from their NSM typology.

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Black flags and social movements

A sociological analysis of movement anarchism


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