Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action

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Mark Traugott
Duke University Press, 1995 - Social Science - 250 pages
The modern era has generated a bewildering profusion of popular protest including widespread social movements and sporadic revolutionary upheaval. Despite the seemingly chaotic character of such collective action, social scientists have increasingly noted the remarkable regularities exhibited by even the most tumultuous social change. In this volume, sociologists, political scientists, and historians come together to assess the complementary concepts of repertoires and cycles as tools for illuminating the consistent patterns that emerge from the apparent chaos.
The significance of repertoires—recurrent forms or tactics of social protest— is explored in an essay on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain by the originator of the concept, Charles Tilly. Sidney Tarrow, whose work has most directly linked the concept of repertoires with that of cycles—the recurrent peaks and troughs in the historical incidence of collective action—contributes an essay that focuses on twentieth-century Italy. Other essays investigate the rhythms and logic of social change in contexts as diverse as sixteenth- through nineteenth-century Japan, nineteeth-century Europe, and twentieth-century America. Through inquiries into the consequences of violent repression for social mobilization, the struggle to control the linguistic terms of social conflict, the unacknowledged antecedents of contemporary movements, and the importance of "movement families," this volume demonstrates the usefulness of these two concepts and defines the relationship between them.
Collected from past issues of Social Science History, with a new introduction and two new essays, Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Action will reward an interdisciplinary audience of readers with the extraordinary vitality that emerges from this rich blend of historical perspectives.

Contributors. Charles Brockett, Craig Calhoun, Doug McAdam, Marc Steinberg, Sidney Tarrow, Charles Tilly, Mark Traugott, James White


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About the author (1995)

Mark Traugott, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the author of Armies of the Poor and editor of The French Worker.

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