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Articulated Experiences

Toward a Radical Phenomenology of Contemporary Social Movements

Peyman Vahabzadeh

Publication Year: 2003

By reexamining the very foundations of everyday acting and thinking and stepping into the open expanse of a possible transition to a postmodern era, this book presents a radical phenomenological approach to the study of contemporary social movements. It offers a theory of acting that refuses to surrender to norms and legislations and thus always intimates a mode of thinking that challenges various manifestations of ultimacy. Vahabzadeh invites us to radically rethink many basic principles that inform our lives, such as the democratic discourse, the concept of rights, liberal democratic regimes, time and epochs, oppression, acting, and the practice of sociology, in an effort to instate a reworked concept of experience in theories about social movements.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

Although this text bears my name as its author, it found its current appearance through the intellectual support that I received from Ian Angus, Marilyn Gates, and Jerry Zaslove, to whom I would like to acknowledge my endless gratitude. As well, some of the formulations in this text surfaced in several intriguing exchanges I had with Hossein Fazeli and Azadeh Farahmand with...

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1: What Can New Social Movements Tell About Post-Modernity?

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pp. 1-5

The purpose of this study is to examine whether “new social movements” correspond to the possibility of an epochal transformation. If the postmodern designates the questioning and rejection of foundational thought, and if the new movements, in contrast to the “older” social movements, generally involve nontotalizing, antifoundationalist praxis, then, the question is, can we...

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2: Identity and Contemporary Social Movements

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pp. 7-39

Social movements are often deemed the manifestations of social crises par excellence. The theoretical literature concerning social movements has clearly undergone major focal and analytical shifts in the past two decades. Such shifts are nowhere more evident than in the coinage and increasing application of the term new social movements (especially during the 1980s)—a term...

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3: Identity, Experiential Hegemonies, Urstiftung

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pp. 41-71

Once we debunk the metaphysical assumption incarnated in the idea of the ultimate referentiality of society that is prevalent in the “sociological” new social movement theory, we will find the questions that inform our inquiry dislocated. We shall attend to the problem of metaphysical thinking in extenso later, but suffice it here to mention that ultimate referentiality is...

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4: Articulated Experiences: The Epochal (Trans-)Formations of Identities and Social Movement

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pp. 73-101

The emphasis on the conceptual relationship between experience and hegemony that was introduced in the previous chapter does not merely stem from scholarly interests. The fact of new social movements, their emergence and increasing prevalence—as movements that have posed serious challenges against the hegemony of modern liberal regimes in western societies by...

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5: Technological Liberalism and the Oppressive Categorization of “Transgressive” Actors

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pp. 103-140

The Zapatista discourse, as discussed, articulated experiences (“past-perils”) of oppression and injustice which enabled a destinal, social movement toward the social imaginary that alluded to the possibility of freedom and justice. Any social movement goes through this process of formation. But, in the course of their struggles against the perceived sources of oppression...

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6: An Epochal Theory of Action

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pp. 141-181

The radical phenomenological inquiry into the concept of identity brings us to the point where we need to view the epochal context in which identity-claims become possible. Now, it is time to link the question: “What is ‘new’ in new social movements?” to the question: “Are we postmodern yet?” Linking these two questions places new social movements...

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7: Radical Phenomenology and the Sociology of Possibilities

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pp. 183-188

For quite some time now, it seems, we have been standing at a historic threshold in which our response to the radical shift in social movement practices as insinuations toward the possible epochal transmutation into a postmetaphysical, post-modern world of anarchic acting and thinking has become decisive. How sociology responds to this radical shift will decide...


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pp. 189-213


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pp. 215-223

E-ISBN-13: 9780791487402
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791456194
Print-ISBN-10: 0791456196

Page Count: 234
Publication Year: 2003