The Strategy of Social Protest

The Strategy of Social Protest

The Strategy of Social Protest

The Strategy of Social Protest

Excerpt

Second editions are second chances. The first edition of Strategy allowed me to have a say on a number of issues concerning groups that try to mobilize people to change American society. Since 1974 I've continued to think about these issues, aided by many insightful discussions by American and European students of social movements. The question of how well the results described in Strategy apply to challenging groups after 1945 has come up often since the first edition was published, and the answer has never seemed obvious to me.

I've chosen to use my second chance to have a go at the same set of issues addressed in Strategy -- this time focusing on the experiences of modern challengers. I have not, of course, tried to carry out the same kind of systematic research on these as I did with the earlier challengers. Instead, I present a theoretical argument, drawing supporting examples from major, well-studied movements (especially the unruly ones) of the last 25 years.

I have left unchanged what I had to say on these issues in 1974. Except for minor corrections of citations and the like, Chapters One through Nine here are identical to the first edition. "Challenging Groups since 1945" -- a new chapter for this edition -- analyzes how well the substantive arguments in Strategy help us to understand the careers of these challengers.

In carrying out this exercise, I frequently am critical of the way issues were handled in the first edition. My own subsequent re-

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