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During the last decade, Latin American social movements have brought about a profound transformation in the nature and practice of protest and collective action. This book surveys the full spectrum of movements in Latin America today-from peasant and squatter movements to women's and gay movements, as well as environmental and civic movements - examining how this diverse mosaic of emergent social actors has prompted social scientists to rethink the dynamics of Latin American social and political change. Whereas the prevailing theories of social movements have largely drawn on Western cases, this volume includes the work of prominent Latin American scholars and incorporates analytical perspectives originating in the region. Contributors discuss the three dimensions of change most commonly attributed to Latin American social movements in the 1980s: their role in forging collective identities; their innovative social practices and political strategies; and their actual or potential contributions to alternative visions of development and to the democratization of political institutions and social relations.
This interdisciplinary text provides both specialists and students of social movements with a unique, comprehensive, and accessible collection of essays that is unprecedented in theoretical and empirical scope. It will be useful in a wide range of graduate and advanced undergraduate courses in Latin American studies, comparative politics, sociology and anthropology, development studies, political economy, and contemporary political and cultural theory.
Arturo Escobar is assistant professor of anthropology at Smith College. Sonia E. Alvarez is associate professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz. Arturo Escobar is assistant professor of anthropology at Smith College. Sonia E. Alvarez is associate professor of politics at the University of California at Santa Cruz.