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The Institutionalization of Social Movements in the Thought of Jürgen Habermas

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Abstract:

This paper seeks to examine modern social movements (SMs) in light of the theories of Jürgen Habermas on civil society and the public sphere. In particular, the theories of Habermas are used to consider: (1) the process of SM institutionalization and its reflection in his thought, and (2) the concepts of system and lifeworld and how their interaction helps to explain the shifting relationships between SMs and the state. These questions are addressed through a comparison of his earlier and later works, arguing that while Habermas’s earlier works retain a space for SMs as true challengers to the state, his later theories restrict the scope of SM activity to mere reform through representative democratic institutions. While it may be true that SMs are increasingly institutionalized, an unfortunate consequence of the sociological accuracy of Habermas’s later work is the normative affirmation of such institutionalization, through a democratic theory in which SMs have little hope for the realization of revolutionary agendas. Insights from these analyses allow for an examination of the extent to which there is a space for SMs in the late modern public sphere, and a normative theory is advanced in which SMs are conceptualized as counter-institutions.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

movement (136), social (135), haberma (82), institut (62), state (56), polit (52), theori (48), public (45), institution (45), new (43), lifeworld (39), action (38), may (35), societi (35), form (33), system (33), communic (33), increas (32), counter (28), sphere (28), work (25),

Author's Keywords:

Habermas, social movements, social theory, civil society
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Walker, Edward. "The Institutionalization of Social Movements in the Thought of Jürgen Habermas" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA,, Aug 14, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p109712_index.html>

APA Citation:

Walker, E. T. , 2004-08-14 "The Institutionalization of Social Movements in the Thought of Jürgen Habermas" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p109712_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper seeks to examine modern social movements (SMs) in light of the theories of Jürgen Habermas on civil society and the public sphere. In particular, the theories of Habermas are used to consider: (1) the process of SM institutionalization and its reflection in his thought, and (2) the concepts of system and lifeworld and how their interaction helps to explain the shifting relationships between SMs and the state. These questions are addressed through a comparison of his earlier and later works, arguing that while Habermas’s earlier works retain a space for SMs as true challengers to the state, his later theories restrict the scope of SM activity to mere reform through representative democratic institutions. While it may be true that SMs are increasingly institutionalized, an unfortunate consequence of the sociological accuracy of Habermas’s later work is the normative affirmation of such institutionalization, through a democratic theory in which SMs have little hope for the realization of revolutionary agendas. Insights from these analyses allow for an examination of the extent to which there is a space for SMs in the late modern public sphere, and a normative theory is advanced in which SMs are conceptualized as counter-institutions.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 20
Word count: 8607
Text sample:
The Institutionalization of Social Movements or the Institutionalization of Habermas? Edward Walker Department of Sociology Pennsylvania State University etw111@psu.edu 211 Oswald Tower University Park PA 16802 ABSTRACT This paper seeks to examine modern social movements (SMs) in light of the theories of Jürgen Habermas on civil society and the public sphere. In particular the theories of Habermas are used to consider: (1) the process of SM institutionalization and its reflection in his thought and (2) the concepts of system
Praxis in the Age of Advanced Globalization.” Sociological Perspectives 41: 587-616. Tarrow Sidney 1994 Power in Movement: Social Movements Collective Action and Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press. Weber Max 1930 The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. New York: Scribner. Womack John Jr. 1999 Rebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader. New York: New Press. Zapatistas 1994 “Second Declaration from the Lacandon Jungle.” Retrieved December 14 2003. (http://flag.blackened.net/revolt/mexico/ezln/ccri_2nd_dec_june94.html). 1998 Zapatista Encuentro: Documents from the 1996 Encounter for Humanity


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