Every June and July, we have a tradition of offering readers a broad selection of great books to add to their summer reading lists. This year we asked contributors to recommend the one book social movement scholars and activists should be reading this summer. Contributors chose their favorite social movement or protest-related book, whether scholarly or activist, fiction or nonfiction, and wrote a short review. In past years, the selection of books has been diverse, and we hope to again offer something of interest to everyone.
Many thanks to our wonderful group of contributors.
Matthew Baggetta, Indiana University — The Surprising Science of Meetings: How you can Lead your Team to Peak Performance (essay)
Maria Mora, University of California, Merced — Latino Mass Mobilization, Immigration, Racialization, and Activism (essay)
Marcos Emilio Perez, Washington and Lee University — Socio-Political Dynamics within the Crisis of the Left (essay)
Todd Nicholas Fuist, Illinois Wesleyan University — Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity (essay)
Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh
By Todd Nicholas Fuist
Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity by Liliana Mason
Scholars of social movements have long known that identity is a key factor in mobilization. Taylor and Whittier’s classic 1992 piece and Melucci’s 1989 and 1996 books highlighted the value of the concept for understanding movement action, and it has been theoretically central to the subfield ever since. A number of recent books, however, have demonstrated the usefulness of identity for thinking about politics more broadly. This includes the recent wave of ethnographies focusing on conservatives, such as Hochchild’s Strangers in Their Own Land, Gest’s The New Minority, Braunstein’s Prophets and Patriots, and Burke’s Race, Class, and Gender in the Tea Party, as well as work on voting behavior, like Achen and Bartels’ Democracy for Realists. These books demonstrate the degree to which identity underpins the entirety of our political behavior.
Liliana Mason’s Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity, is a new and compelling entry in our ever-unfolding understanding of identity and politics. … Continue reading
By Marcos Perez
Socio-Political Dynamics within the Crisis of the Left. Edited by Juan Pablo Ferrero, Ana Natalucci, and Luciana Tatagiba
Over the past few years, political developments in South America have signaled the emergence of a new right-wing regional bloc of governments. There is a lot of good research on the role played by grassroots organizations in the “pink tide” of progressive administrations in the first decade and a half of the century. However, not much has been written about how mobilization processes contributed to the end of this wave. The edited volume by Ferrero, Natalucci and Tatagiba contributes to filling in this gap, and thus should be on the reading list of anyone interested in the region.
The different chapters make three crucial contributions. Continue reading
By Maria Mora
Latino Mass Mobilization, Immigration, Racialization, and Activism by Chris Zepeda-Millán
Latino Mass Mobilization, Immigration, Racialization, and Activism is a must-read book for the summer for any social movement scholar, immigration scholar, community organizer or labor activist. Chris Zepeda-Millán’s multiple award-winning book makes an important contribution by offering one of the first systematic analysis of the 2006 immigrant rights movement. Zepeda-Millán examines the emergence of one of the largest social movement campaigns in the 21st century for the working class and the various mechanisms that made the mobilizations possible with separate chapters focusing on coalitions, threats, racialization, and everyday organizations. Zepeda-Millán also incorporates geographical variation in his study by scrutinizing immigrant collective action in Los Angeles, New York City and Fort Myers (Florida) to better understand movement emergence and obstacles at the local level.
In his first chapter, Zepeda-Millán gives a brief history of the economic policies that led to migration to and within the US. Continue reading
By Matthew Baggetta
The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance by Steven G. Rogelberg
Back in 2012, I reviewed a book that was definitely not about social movements as part of the first Mobilizing Ideas summer reading series, arguing that it could be about social movements—and that researchers and practitioners should be working its ideas into their social movement work. Seven years later, I’m going to do it again.
This time it’s Steven G. Rogelberg’s The Surprising Science of Meetings: How You Can Lead Your Team to Peak Performance (2019, Oxford University Press). Rogelberg is Professor of Organizational Science, Management, and Psychology at UNC Charlotte where he has been publishing research on meetings for the last 15 years. This book offers a brief, easy-to-read summary of findings from the growing field of meeting science.
Rogelberg aims the book at… Continue reading
“What are the challenges and opportunities that girls and young women should consider when getting involved in social movements?”
Taylor, Verta. 1999. “Gender and social movements: Gender processes in women’s self-help movements.” Gender & Society 13(1): 8-33.
Robnett, Belinda. 1996. “African-American women in the civil rights movement, 1954-1965: Gender, leadership, and micromobilization.” American Journal of Sociology. 101(6): 1661-1693.
McCammon, Holly J., Taylor, Verta, Reger, Jo, & Einwohner, Rachel L. (Eds.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of US Women’s Social Movement Activism. Oxford University Press.
Yang, Chia-Ling. 2017. “The political is the personal: women’s participation in Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement.” Social Movement Studies 16(6): 660-671.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, which claimed the lives of upwards of one million people. While many Rwandans actively participated in genocidal violence by killing their neighbors, friends and fellow parishioners, hundreds—if not thousands—made a vastly different decision: they actively saved others who were persecuted. As part of a larger project on the social factors that shape rescue efforts during genocide, we had the privilege this week to speak with those who saved others, 25 years ago.