Tue Oct 18 08:01:05 CDT 2011
50 Years of Student, Worker, and Social Justice Struggles
UCLA - March 13, 2012
The Occupy Wall Street Movement has revitalized interest in the
consequences of social inequality and the forms of protest. The Occupy
movement is distinguishable from typical demonstrations by the
particular form of insurgent practice the physical occupation of
ostensibly public spaces, often in defiance of the explicit policies
and laws of the state. Yet the Occupy movement is but one in a long
lineage of US social movements over the last half century utilizing
insurgent, disruptive practices as an integral component of strategy.
For instance, a series of African-American, student-led sit-ins in
legally segregated spaces swept through the South in the early 1960s; a
few years later, farm workers in California conducted strikes, pickets,
and boycotts to improve their terms of employment; and in the early
1990s, predominately immigrant, Latino janitors in Southern California
marched through the streets, halted traffic, and struck to win union
recognition. Globally, activists from South Africa to Burma have
Yet the context and political opportunities of social movements have
changed dramatically over the last several decades. Neoliberal political
reforms and the relative freedom of capital to circulate around the
globe have significantly altered the strengths and vulnerabilities of
particular movement targets, including firms, the state, and educational
institutions. And the post-9/11 geopolitical landscape expanded the
domestic purview of the state to regulate protest. Mass movements in
Chile, Egypt, Spain, the UK, and elsewhere, mobilized around such deeply
entrenched, widespread social issues forging alliances between a wide
array of social actors previously organized around parochial issues.
In 1962, the student authors of the Port Huron Statement called on the
university community to make fraternal and functional contact with
allies in labor, civil rights, and other liberal forces outside campus.
Students have played and continue to play an important role in social
movements from the Civil Rights Movement, to the Egyptian revolution.
From Port Huron to Occupy Wall Street will feature graduate student
research. Plenary speakers will include Tom Hayden (main author of the
1962 Port Huron Statement that launched Students for a Democratic
Society) and other leaders of insurgent movements of the last 50 years.
We invite graduate students to submit abstracts (250-500 words) with a
historical or contemporary focus that speak to one or more of the
following questions about movements in the US or elsewhere:
· What makes movement practices insurgent or disruptive? Why are
particular insurgent practices effective or not? What are the sources of
innovation with respect to insurgent practices?
· How does social context, including the political opportunity
structure shape the form and efficacy of insurgent practices? How has
neoliberal globalization affected the emergence, course, and
consequences of such practices? How has the growth of the security state
affected the emergence, course, and consequences of insurgent protest forms?
· What role does the nature and identity of movement participants and
allies play in insurgent social movements? How does student
participation shape movement dynamics? How do movements like Occupy Wall
Street shape and reconcile the wide range of participants identities?
ABSTRACTS ARE DUE JANUARY 27. Please send abstract in a Word or PDF file
to tilly at ucla.edu with Port Huron Abstract in the subject line.
Include graduate school affiliation, and email.
Professor of Urban Planning and Sociology and Director, Institute for
Research on Labor and Employment
10945 Le Conte Ave., Suite 2107
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1478
Email chris_tilly at irle.ucla.edu
Urban Planning website http://www.publicaffairs.ucla.edu/chris-tilly
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