Collective Behavior & Social Movements

Critical Mass is the newsletter of the Section of Collective Behavior and Social Movements. The current editors are Daniel McClymonds and Stacy Williams. Please send all your ideas, feedback, and submissions to

Chair's Message

Tina Fetner, McMaster University

How are we supposed to teach our
courses, complete our studies and write up our findings when so much collective
action and social change is going on all around us? Impeachment hearings in the
U.S. House of Representatives. Climate strikes mobilizing hundreds of thousands
of demonstrators around the world. White nationalists and other right-wing
extremists gathering strength in online forums. As scholars of collective
behavior and social movements, we may have trouble catching our breath at
times, but at least we will never be bored.

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Call for Submissions: CBSM at ASA 2020

Collective Behavior and Social Movements Refereed Roundtables

E. Colin Ruggero, Community College of Philadelphia;

Current Scholarship on Activism, Contention, Social Movements

This session seeks scholarship on a broad range of scholarly
questions regarding resistance, activism, contentious politics and social
movements. Of particular interest are studies that cut across social movement
cases to examine broad themes across social movement organizations and sectors.

Catherine Corrigall-Brown, University of British Columbia;

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Panel Summaries: CBSM at ASA 2019

ASA 2019: Thinking About Abeyance in the 21st Century

Nancy Whittier, Smith College and Jo Reger, Oakland University

This session, organized by Jo
Reger and presided over by Nancy Whittier, aimed to examine how the
foundational concept of social movement abeyance functions and is relevant in
the 21st century. Articulated by Verta Taylor and Leila Rupp in their
investigation of the “doldrums” of the women’s movement in the early 20th
century, abeyance has been applied to multiple social movement contexts to
illustrate how movements survive in period of low mobilization. The invited
panel of Alison Dahl Crossley, Fabio Rojas, and Suzanne Staggenborg explored
the transformation of the abeyance concept over time and considered its
relevance in today’s context of rapid social movement mobilization. Their
comments were followed by reflections and discussion from Rupp and Taylor and a
lively discussion with audience members. Some of the panelists’ core points
were as follows:

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Highlander’s Mission: Social Justice

by Aldon Morris, Northwestern University

from Critical Mass, Volume 44, Issue 1

historically important Highlander
Research and Education Center was deliberately attacked. On March
29, 2019, an early morning fire destroyed its executive office building along
with historic documents, speeches, artifacts and memorabilia stored there.
Although an investigation of the arson continues, all indications point to a
white supremacy group as the perpetrator.

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How “More Cowbell, More Cowbell” Worked! Disruptive Tactics and the Outcome of the UIUC Labor Protest

by Amirhossein Teimouri, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

from Critical Mass, Volume 44, Issue 1

late February 2018, I found myself joining fellow graduate students in a strike
on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). The
strike at the UIUC was a rare opportunity for a student-led labor movement to
rise against the corporatization of the public education. Although this was a
campus-wide movement without nation-wide repercussions, participants and
activists integrated the movement to a broader nation-wide public education

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