By Peyman Vahabzadeh
Analyzes new social activities and their ramifications for social and political conception.
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Additional info for Articulated Experiences: Toward a Radical Phenomenology of Contemporary Social Movements
Interestingly, when Touraine confronts this kind of criticism by his Latin American followers and colleagues, his response is nothing short of a disclaimer. ”62 One would expect this to cause the European new social movement theories to reflect upon their approach. ”63 Stated plainly, if a social movement does not conform to the terms (one is inclined to say “laws”) of theory, then it is not a social movement at all. This position implies Touraine’s privileging the European-American new social movement (and democratic models) as the bearers of the universal model of social progress.
Personal identity . . 122 It is explained by making references to the symbolic grounds, in which identity becomes meaningful and subversive of the dominant codes that are created in high-density information systems. As identity-claims, therefore, new social movements give rise to modernization, institutional change, cultural innovation, and the selection of the new elite. They translate action into symbolic challenges that defy and disturb the dominant codes, exposing their irrationality (especially that of the new forms of technocratic power).
The probable reason is that it reflects the capacity of contemporary action to go beyond modifying and transforming the natural environment. Alberto Melucci, Nomads of the Present88 Regardless of their focus and concerns, new social movement theorists almost unanimously characterize these movements primarily as identity-claims. Both Touraine’s postindustrial thesis and Eder’s middle class radicalism are, among other things, postulates about explaining the underlying reasons for the heightened place of identity in new social movements.