Donald Trump is our president-elect. Riding a wave of so-called alt-right (read: white supremacist and nativist) popularity, the reality show star and real estate mogul has landed the role of a lifetime. Trump and his supporters on the far-right have cultivated adherents by taking advantage of media echo chambers and subverting traditional news outlets (which have themselves been transformed in the age of social media). Using the web, Facebook, and (most important for Trump) Twitter, his campaign and he communicate directly to sympathetic audiences, unhampered by the “politically correct” cultural intermediaries that prevents so many of them from doing the same. The low cost of these technologies allows Trump and his far-right supporters to reach much broader audiences than they otherwise could. They also afford the ability to communicate in ways that were previously unthinkable for a presidential candidate, e.g., directly with sympathetic audiences without facing pesky fact-checkers and other intermediaries that may distort or contradict the message. Continue reading
@ctivism 2.0: An Attempt at Making Sense of the New Social Media Landscape #DigitallyEnabledSocialChange
As a social movement scholar and a sociologist of race, gender and class, it’s hard to know where to start in making sense of the 2016 Presidential Election results. Regardless of whether one agrees that this election was a referendum on racism, misogyny, homophobia and xenophobia, it is indisputable that this year, a populist message articulated in racist, misogynist, and xenophobic tones was a winning one.
One book that has captured my heart and mind, which I have been studying and teaching in my classes, is Paula Ioanide’s The Emotional Politics of Racism: How Feelings Trump Facts in an Era of Colorblindness. (This subtitle was selected long before the 2015 campaign season began, I trust.) This is not a traditional social movement book, but it helps to sort through many of the vexing challenges both activists and movement scholars face at this conjuncture. Ioanide asks and seeks to answer why a majority of the US public has been recruited to support policies that actually contradict their own material interests. Her conclusion: racist, misogynist and homonormative/phobic discourses, frames, myths and signifiers (see too: Racism without Racists) generated a set of anxieties and aspirations, what Sarah Ahmed calls emotional economies, that have been largely determinant of the political alignments of most people in the United States. Continue reading
Event hosted by the Center for the Study of Social Movements, University of Notre Dame March 31, 2017.
In conjunction with the presentation of the John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship in Social Movements, The Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame will be hosting the eighth annual “Young Scholars” Conference the day before the McCarthy Award events. The recipient of the McCarthy Award, David Meyer, will be in attendance and other senior scholars visiting Notre Dame for the award presentation will serve as discussants for the conference.
We would like to invite 12 advanced graduate students and early-career faculty to present a work solidly in-progress at the conference, enjoy an opportunity to discuss their work with some of the leading scholars in the field, and meet others in the new cohort of social movement scholars. Conference attendees will also be invited to the McCarthy Award Lecture and the award banquet on April 1, 2017.
The Center will pay for meals, up to three nights lodging, and contribute up to $500 toward travel expenses for each of the conference attendees. The Center will select invitees from all nominations received by January 10, 2017. Nominations will be accepted for ABD graduate students and those who have held their Ph.D.s less than two years. Nominations must be written by the nominee’s faculty dissertation advisor (or a suitable substitute intimately familiar with the nominee’s research, if the advisor is unavailable).
Nominations should include:
1. A letter of nomination.
2. The CV of the nominee.
3. A one-page abstract of the work to be presented.
Nominations should be sent via email to Rory McVeigh, Director of the Center for the Study of Social Movements, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame is very pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 John D. McCarthy Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Scholarship of Social Movements and Collective Behavior is David Meyer of the University of California at Irvine. The award not only recognizes David’s extraordinary achievements in research, but also the role that he has played in mentoring successive generations of scholars.
David has authored or edited six books and published well over 100 articles, book reviews, and reports that have shaped our thinking about social movements and contentious politics for several decades. Those who nominated him for the award also emphasized his tireless work as a conscientious mentor. Indeed, a group of his current and former students praised him for the attention he has given to their developing work while also characterizing him as a “constant cheerleader” who is “fully invested in supporting young scholars.” This year’s award ceremony will be held on April 1, 2017 on the Notre Dame campus. David will be giving a public lecture prior to the award banquet. At the banquet, several of his friends, colleagues and former students will be on hand to offer reflections on his work and influence on the field.
In conjunction with the presentation of the McCarthy Award, the Center for the Study of Social Movements will also be hosting the eight annual Young Scholars in Social Movements Conference on March 31, 2017. Advanced graduate students and recently minted PhD’s will be invited to present their work and receive feedback from the McCarthy Award winner and a distinguished panel of senior scholars in the field. A call for nominations for the Young Scholars Conference will be issued in a separate announcement.
We hope that many of you will mark your calendars and plan to join us for these events. Please be on the lookout for more information in the coming days and weeks—including instructions on how to apply for the Young Scholars Conference. We will distribute the news on the CBSM listserv and also post the news on our Center’s website.
Director, Center for the Study of Social Movements
Professor of Sociology
University of Notre Dame