Challenging Codes: Collective Action in the Information Age

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Cambridge University Press, Sep 12, 1996 - Social Science - 441 pages
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In Challenging Codes Melucci brings an original perspective to research on collective action which both emphasizes the role of culture and makes telling connections with the experience of the individual in postmodern society. The focus is on the role of information in an age which knows both fragmentation and globalisation, building on the analysis of collective action familiar from the author's Nomads of the Present. Melucci addresses a wide range of contemporary issues, including political conflict and change, feminism, ecology, identity politics, power and inequality.
 

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Contents

The construction of collective action
13
Collective action as a construct
16
Principles for analysis of collective action
22
Conflict and change
42
How an antagonistic conflict is born
44
Addressing the social dimension of change
48
Integration and change
51
Action and meaning
54
The production of decisions
236
The effects of the political system
240
The state and the distribution of social resources
243
The unity of the state
245
Social organization or difficult integration
249
Classes or stratification?
255
Modernization crisis and conflicts the case of Italy
259
The intersection between crisis and emerging conflicts
264

Interests and action
61
Recognizing what is common
64
The process of collective identity
68
what one can see through it
77
Identity and collective emotional experience
80
Collective identity in historical context
83
Contemporary collective action
87
Conflicts of culture
89
Contemporary social movements
97
Antagonist action?
106
Networks in the everyday
113
Invention of the present
118
Time and the culture of the possible
123
Youth as a mirror
127
Where have all the flowers gone?
129
The time of difference
133
Between condition and action
136
To make a difference
140
Roots for today and for tomorrow
145
Ethnicity nation territory
154
Identity as problem
157
A search for ethics
163
Altruistic action
166
The spiritual quest
171
Information power domination
176
Forms of resistance withdrawal and symbolic challenge
182
Identity polities?
186
The world system and the end of historicism
190
Movements and the political system
197
The field of collective action
205
A society without a centre
207
Autonomy and the limits of political action
211
The dilemmas of complexity
217
Public spaces representation and the role of knowledge
218
Public discourse and the power of naming
225
The political system
229
Political demands
234
The transformation of collective action
272
Winds from the Right
275
Civic culture and democracy
281
Acting collectively
285
Mobilization and political participation
287
The formation of a movement
289
Mobilizing factors
292
Participation
295
Repression and social control
301
On the concept of political participation
303
Mobilization in contemporary movements
307
The organization of movements
313
Internal processes of the organization
317
Relations between the organization and the environment
323
The forms of organization
326
Selfreflective organizations
328
Leadership in social movements
332
Charismatic leadership
335
The role of leadership
339
Conformity and innovation
341
Network leaders
344
Collective action and discourse
348
Integration and strategy
352
The ambivalence of collective frames
355
Reversing the symbolic order
357
Forms of action
361
Violence in collective action
367
Crowd behaviour
371
Direct action and conflictual participation
378
Research on collective action
380
How a we is formed
382
Research procedures
384
Ways out
391
Moral and political implications
393
References
398
Copyright

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Page 8 - In the past twenty years emerging social conflicts in advanced societies have not expressed themselves through political action, but rather have raised cultural challenges to the dominant language, to the codes that organize information and shape social practices.
Page 1 - They force the power out into the open and give it a shape and a face. They speak a language that seems to be entirely their own, but they say something that transcends their particularity and speaks to us all.

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