Tag Archives: social control

Protestors and their Targets

By William A. Gamson

When I think about the distinction between members and challengers, I think of the differences in the adversarial relationship with the target of change. Challengers necessarily have an adversarial relationship with their target who does not recognize them as a legitimate spokesperson for some constituency. Members have a more ambivalent and mixed relationship. Representatives of the target are willing to sit down with them and discuss issues but it remains to be seen whether this leads to genuine change or is simply an attempt at cooptation. The task, for analysts, is to do justice to the variable nature of this relationship and to its changes over time. Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Protestors and their Targets

In Appreciation of Mayer Zald

By Elisabeth Clemens

In the classic model, the five stages of grief end with acceptance.  In remembering Mayer Zald, however, appreciation seems much more possible, indeed necessary.  In the weeks since his death, stories and expressions of gratitude for his enormous generosity have tumbled out in conversations, in print, and in pixels.  But his so-unexpected absence also forecloses the opportunity to reciprocate directly, to thank him fully for everything.    It leaves only the possibility of generalized exchange, sharing with others what we received from Mayer.  In that spirit, let me contribute one lesson that Mayer taught me, namely how to make our work both a craft and a calling, rather than simply a job-to-be-done or an idea-to-be-thought in solitary brilliance.  This lesson came in many forms, but perhaps most clearly over the course of a pair of Mayer and Joan’s spring visits to Arizona in the late 1990s, when Mayer and I co-taught Contemporary Sociological Theory, then Organization Theory and History.  My notes for an early session that I led in that second seminar capture the flavor of a teaching apprenticeship with Mayer: Continue reading

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Filed under Essay Dialogues, Organizational Theory and Social Movements