Self-Organized Publics in Mass Protests: An Introduction
In his oft-cited work, Publics and Counterpublics, Michael Warner reflects on the tense relationship between public and private life. Modernity has given rise, he holds, to disconnections between our private and public selves, generating ‘a romantic longing for unity’ (Warner 2002, p. 25). The manifestation of unity may emerge in expressions of personal taste and emotion or gender and sexuality (a key focus of Warner’s). But it can also be more explicitly political in nature, as individual reflections on and reactions to political events generate collective, solidaristic responses (Jasper 1998). In this way, public manifestations of privately held beliefs seek to bring the public sphere into line, if only temporarily and provisionally, with the private. Such manifestations can be more or less routinized or transgressive, individual or collective, depending on the local contexts and causes of private discontent and their public forms.
In this paper there is analysis of motives, wheels and conditions that led to a wave of mass protests against authoritarian rulers in Arab states of Near East and Maghreb. It is shown that corruption in the state power system served as the main incentive for mass protests, and their major wheel was represented by the youth as the most educated, informed and oriented at postindustrial development models part of society. Social networks based both on postindustrial technologies, and on the traditional for the Arab world “technique” of a Friday prayer became an organizational and communication ground. Position of the army serves as a factor influencing “toughness” and duration of resistance in a determinative way. This study was carried out within “The National Research University Higher School of Economicsʼ Academic Fund Program in 2013-2014, research grant №12-01-0150”.
In the articles, reviews and abstracts submitted to your attantion under analysis are issues of social theory, empirical sociological studies, history of sociology. The contributions discuss the actual tendencies and perspectives of sociological science in Russia and abroad.
The article focuses on people who took part in opposition rallies during the winter 2011– 2012 in Moscow and on language that they used to create protest signs and slogans. Who were the protesters? Whom did they address? What were they going to say and how? The research is based on the database that includes more than 1500 slogans containing verbal or nonverbal protest signs from mass opposition rallies. The article also includes information on “authors” (people who held placards, their age, and gender proportion), describes the “frames” which they used with a reference either to a precedent text or a precedent case, and explores the occurrence of different frames. Slogans with quotes, frequency of citing the authorities or mass culture texts, and the usage of pun are considered. Finally, the addressees of slogans are described.
Pro-Putin rallies before the 2012 presidential elections became campaign venues in which the Kremlin used political symbols—woven into a narrative of nationalism and tradition—to define and activate core voters across the Russian Federation.
This paper tries to examine the recent wave of protests in India, specifically the case against corruption and the Delhi rape case with the very diverse constituents mobilizing together for the common ethical demands (e.g., dignity and the demand for the basic obligations of the state). This paper tries to understand the unique convergence and the incidental coalescing of diverse sections of society with the motley of social and spiritual organizations lock-stepping and underpinning this assertion of the invisible multitude, thus substituting the previous actors of sociopolitical mobilization along with a major shift in the modus operandi and repertoire of the protest movement.
This collection is a special issue of Russian Sociological Review dedicated to the concept of border. The concept itself seems to draw attention in many disciplines. As spatial phenomena, borders are always drawn in spaces, while social scientists, philosophers and other academics often have different meanings of space. Recent reconsiderations of space in terms of networks, flows and events, bring even more complexity to the concept. The current volume contributes to both theoretical and empirical studies of borders on various levels. Contributions look at the relevant phenomena from contemporary or historical perspectives, study narratives about borders, reconstructions of the empirical configurations of borders and other objects (such as bodies), exploring how borders emerge and reshape existing spaces, etc. Overall, the issue contributes to the emerging interdisciplinary field of border studies and encourages cross-disciplinary dialogue.