Scenes and social movements

In their efforts to create change in the larger society, social movements generally try to influence public opinion, recruit members, and in some way put pressure on politicians or other powerful targets to institute legal and structural changes. In all of this, social movements are embedded in and deeply affected by a wider social, political, cultural, and physical environment that circumscribes their opportunities and strongly influences their actions. While certain aspects and functions of the environment within which social movements operate have been well researched, others have gone virtually unnoticed. In this article, we draw attention to an important component in the environment of a certain subcategory of social movements - a component which we call the scene - that has been severely undertheorized, despite its critical role in these movements' development.
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