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[Xmca-l] Re: Does the All-Stars article document a social movement?

I think, Andy, that an example in which  it is important to find out whether something is (or has as one of its parts) a social movement or not can be found in the current events in Catalonian society, where what clearly has been a political movement has been said to have turned into a social movement when many hundreds of thousands, up to millions, have civically organized to disobey the central state to defend the political movement. Of course, it may be said that the movement was never only political, but the way it has developed the last months is primarily so (all relevant developments happened as parliamentary transactions). In line with what you say, I am inclined to think that whether or not we treat what we are seeing in Catalonia's streets as a social movement or not is crucial to assess which position we should take on it.

Not trying to diverge the discussion more, but, along with David K., I'd like to point out that ruling out whether this is a movement that belongs to those who move or not is important. I think many in Catalonia and in Spain are confused and in big part this confusion has to do with not being sure if their movement is theirs or is only a service to a political movement that serves causes other than the people.

I would also like to note that I too found Helena's commentary very adequate and reflecting very similar thoughts/feelings that I share. I tried to raise a similar issue asking whether the issue of *needs* was important to consider, for performance not to just be fake but be fake but not fake (as one of the participants in the study puts it). 


From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
Sent: 12 October 2017 13:53
To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Does the All-Stars article document a social movement?

David the typical kind of social movement discourse I find
useless is the demarcation issues which academic departments
and learned journals engage in to decide whether some social
process fits in their subject area. This kind of discourse
takes the peace, civil rights, anti-war, feminist and
environmental movements of the 1960s and 70s as models and
something is a "social movement" by comparison with these

So I am saying it adds nothing to prove that the All Stars
Project is or is not a social movement.

The study of social movements has given us theoretical and
empirical material to understand how ideas (practices)
spread, the conditions which promote or inhibit their
growth, the kind of life=process movements have, how they
interact and influence each other, etc., etc. This material
turns out to be useful across a wide range of social
processes, processes which are in fact generically connected
with one another. What is the purpose of ruling out
activities which have not (yet) begun to proliferate, or
which have faded out or been displaced by other activities
or been co-opted or institutionalised, from study using
concepts derived from social movement studies, and vice versa?


Andy Blunden
On 12/10/2017 10:03 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
> ... Andy. (I also
> think that your own position makes no sense. On the one hand, the whole
> question of what social movement is can be dismissed as "useless". On the
> other hand, the moment when a social movement stops moving is a "useful
> lens".)
> On Oct 12, 2017, at 3:53 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> Helena, the assessment of the All Stars Project Inc. as a
> "social movement" is nothing to do with what takes place
> between the kids who are recruited into the program and the
> adult organisers. It is to do with the process described on
> pp. 221-222 in which group of good citizens around the US
> and in other countries pick up the All Stars franchise, or
> emulate it under a different name and do what they take to
> be good work in helping poor kids. What makes it relevant
> from a social movement point of view is this *proliferation*
> and emulation, with people freely associating themselves
> with the project by their own free will to join with its
> objective, rather than for reward. Apparently this process
> has been rolling on for 36 years.
> Generally speaking I think the question of whether this is
> or is not a social movement is a useless question; it is the
> dynamic of spreading from an isolated solution to a social
> problem, proliferating through others freely participating
> towards the project's object and eventually either dying out
> or becoming an institution which makes the "social movement"
> lens useful.
> Andy