Ferree, Myra Marx and Roth, Silke
Collective identity and organizational cultures- theories of new social movements in American perspective [in German: Kollektive identität und organisationskulturen. Theorien neuer sozialer bewegungen aus amerikanischer perspektive]
Forschungsjournal Neue Soziale Bewegungen, 11, (1), .
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In their contribution on the American reception of the European NSM debate, Myra Marx Ferree and Silke Roth discuss the reactions and criticisms of American social movemet scholars to this approach. They conclude that the use made by American social movement research of concepts such as collective identity and crisis diagnosis has been primarily instrumental. At the same time, however, it is acknowledgded that the recent interest in, and influence of values, ideology, identity, frames, and culture among American social movement scholars can be traced to the influence of European social movement research. Nevertheless, American scholars have also brought forward important points of critique. Thus, the question has been raised whether 'new nocial movements' really constitute something 'new', which may be related to the fact that the USA never had the kind of 'old' labour movement that served as a point of contrast and reference in the European debate. In addition, marxist conceptual influences and the attempt to place the NSMs within a clear left/right frame of reference have met with skepticism due to the different political culture in the USA. Finally, the NSM approach has been accused of eurocentrism because it tends on the basis of Europe's particular socio-political history (e.g., the welfare state) to draw much more pronounced boundaries between social movements in highly industrialized countries and those in other countries than is the case in the USA. In conclusion, then, Ferree end Roth see from an American perspective- in spite of undeniable merits - a need for reform, if not paradigmatic change in European social movement research.
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