Sixties Radicalism and Social Movement Activism: Retreat Or Resurgence?
Bryn Jones, Mike O'Donnell
Anthem Press, Oct 1, 2012 - History - 288 pages
Unlike many partisan accounts of the nineteen sixties this book aims to give a considered explanation of the context in which the sixties radical movements arose and, also, their significance from the standpoint of various nations' actors, often ignored by North American and West European standpoints. Secondly, it examines how the radical decade sowed the seeds of various liberation or 'rights movements' - initially in the West but also globally as movements became increasingly diffused. Contributors' varied international backgrounds and specialities provide expertise in examining the international context. Thirdly, many nineteen sixties' radicals' values and strategies recur in contemporary social movements; albeit in different technological and, post 9/11, political and cultural environments. Unravelling similarities and differences is a key theme. Fourthly, many participants in sixties radicalism saw it as 'cultural' as well as 'political' and in some historical treatments as primarily or 'only' cultural. Detailed examinations of this perspective involve critical discussion - particularly in the light of the allegedly 'mere' (i.e. apolitical) cultural hedonism and escapism of youth in the nineteen eighties and nineties. Contrarily, the contributions here assess resonances between the radical/libertarian emphasis on civil society 'freedoms' in sixties' cultural radicalism and, arguably, today's more self-consciously political global human rights movement. The conclusion suggests that, in some senses, the sixties live on today in discursive and political themes.
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