Abstract

This essay argues that grounded utopian movements (GUMs) have generally been overlooked in recent cross-disciplinary theorizations of social movements, and seeks to rectify the neglect. GUMs, unlike other social movements, do not seek recognition either from capitalist institutions or modern nationstates, but are instead grounded in visions of alternative "ideal places" (utopias), and set out to establish alternative ways of living which their members find more just and satisfying than at present. We discuss the Ghost Dance of the Great Plains, the Rastafari movement of the Caribbean, and the long-durée Maya movement as grounded utopian movements of the periphery, to illustrate major aspects of theoretical, epistemological, and methodological approaches to the study of GUMs. We conclude with a brief treatment of the global justice movement as a contemporary GUM.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1518
Print ISSN
0003-5491
Pages
pp. 127-159
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-31
Open Access
No
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