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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter deals with the emergence of social movement studies in the French social sciences in the 1990s and its development since then. We show how the exponential growth of this field largely relied on knowledge accumulated from the North American literature, but always with a critical appraisal of its concepts, methods, and results. We stress some theoretical and methodological specificities of the French contribution to the field: the greater recourse to qualitative and in-depth methodologies and the focus on the micro-level of individual activism and micro-level processes; the dissemination of its issues and concepts into a great number of academic domains, hence its trans-disciplinary framework; and finally its long-standing reluctance to engage in comparative studies. We conclude with some reflections on a possible agenda for future research.

Keywords: social movements, qualitative analysis, individual activism, repertoires of action, protest, socialization, interactionism

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