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date: 04 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter we identify the ways in which culture often functions both as a seedbed for conflicts generative of social movements and as an instrument of challenge and social change. In order to understand cultural conflicts, we conceptualize the assortment of cultural elements and artifacts in a given cultural field into three main categories: products, practices, and meanings. We then identify three primary forms of social movement orientations in relation to these cultural elements as a way of systematically classifying the broad range of cultural claims and challenges advanced by movement actors: embracement, reform, and rejection. Finally, we introduce two proposed mechanisms for cultural change: cultural revitalization and fabrication. We argue that these proposed mechanisms capture the manner in which agents of social change utilize and deploy culture. We illustrate our arguments with case material on a range of social movements from across history, cultures, nationalities, and political context.

Keywords: culture, cultural revitalization and fabrication, conflict, contexts of cultural conflict, religion, social change, social movements

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