logo

Cosmos

The Centre on Social Movement Studies

logo

Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis

Donatella della Porta and Elena Pavan

Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

Type: Journal Article
Year: 2017

Starting from the assumption that knowledge becomes all the more important for movements in times of crisis, as old structures are challenged and new ones envisaged and proved feasible, the purpose of this paper is to suggest ways to expand the toolkit of social movement studies in order to empirically address knowledge practices as a meaningful part of contemporary progressive activism.

The authors start by arguing that, in their effort to pursue or resist social and political changes, contemporary progressive social movements form collective spaces of knowledge production that are true laboratories for innovation. For this reason, the authors begin by making a case for accounting more explicitly for knowledge production within social movement studies – not as a substitution for but, rather, as a necessary complement to current cultural approaches. Building on extant literature on the nexus between movements and knowledge, the authors then outline the peculiarities of movement knowledge.

On these bases, the authors outline the core components of what the authors call repertoires of knowledge practices – that is, the set of practices that foster the coordination of disconnected, local, and highly personal experiences and rationalities within a shared cognitive system able to provide movements and their supporters with a common orientation for making claims and acting collectively to produce social, political, and cultural changes.

The authors conclude by identifying some promising avenues of research to further develop the understanding of movement practices of knowledge production and transmission.

della Porta, Donatella and Elena Pavan (2017). “Repertoires of knowledge practices: Social movements in times of crisis”. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol 12(4): 297-314 [ISSN: 1746-5648]

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/eprint/R62UBZKRXCDINVGHDG3V/full

News

05/03/2019

Call for Papers - Social Movements and Parties in a Fractured Media Landscape

alt
The call for papers is now open for a two-day symposium held under the auspices of the journal ‘Information, Communication & Society’ (iCS) at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, 1-2 July 2019.

05/03/2019

A dialogue on labour, trade unions and conflicts

alt
On the 22nd of March, from 4pm to 7pm, Donatella della Porta (Scuola Normale Superiore) and Maurizio Landini (Secretary General of CGIL) will discuss about labour, trade unions and conflicts.

21/02/2019

Applications now open! Third Edition of the Summer School on Methods for the Study of Political Participation and Mobilisation

alt
Applicants must send their application materials no later than March the 17th 2019.

Publications

Journal Article - 2019

Ballots and barricades enhanced: far‐right ‘movement parties’ and movement‐electoral interactions

Andrea Pirro
This contribution enhances our understanding of the contemporary far right by focusing on the neglected links between movements and elections within the broader context of contention.

Journal Article - 2019

From the Rainy Place to the Burnt Palace: How Social Movements Form their Political Strategies. The Case of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba

Leonidas Oikonomakis
Exploring the case of the cocaleros of the Chapare, this article argues that more emphasis should be placed on mechanisms that are internal to the movements, such as: (a) the resonance of other political experiences at home and abroad, (b) internal struggles for ideological hegemony, and (c) the political formation of their grassroots.