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Title: The theory of social movements and the British Labour Movement, circa 1790-1920
Author: Famiglietti, Antonio
ISNI:       0000 0001 3456 7476
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2000
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The following study aims to apply concepts drawn from the sociology of social movements to the history of the labour movement in Britain, from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. It proceeds from a definition of the social movement as a logic of action, which tends to overcome domination, by envisaging an alternative project for society. The key features of the logic of social movement are its principles of Identity', 'opposition' and totality', which develop co-jointly and coherently. This logic can only be retrieved analytically, since it is argued that collective action is complex, and also contains a different logic, tending towards the pursuit of interests, which as such does not criticise social power in general terms. These concepts are applied to labour action and discussed through a comparison with pluralist and Marxist approaches in the sociology of the labour movement. Both perspectives are criticised for the dichotomy that they impose between social antagonism and institutional action. However, the proposed definition of social movements is indebted to Marx's insight that social conflict cannot be reabsorbed by collective bargaining procedures and parliamentary politics; and to the pluralist argument that the openness of the political system conditions the debate, within the labour movement, about the possibility of a reformist path of political action. Labour action in Britain is investigated in relation to the development of two popular movements: the first emerged in the late eighteenth century and culminated with Chartism; the second started with the unionisation of the unskilled in the late 1880s and was consolidated in the early decades of the new century. Utilising the material provided by historiography, the inquiry reconstructs the diachronic formation of the different components, developing either in civil society or in the political system, of the two movements. The exposition alternates between narrative and analysis of the links between the logic of the social movement within labour action and processes of selforganisation, the articulation of critical discourses and the integration of popular strata in both movements.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor