Questions of Definition:

What is a movement? Discuss how the different authors of these texts and texts they reference define movements and explain what their key concerns seem to be. Which definition seems most worthwhile for a “rhetorical study of movements?” Explain? What are the difficulties (primary problems) of defining a movement? How do the definitions you reference above acknowledge and/or attend to these problems?

Problems Movements Face

Based on the readings, what are the key, and often unique, challenges that social movements and their agents face? Are some of these challenges more universal and others more specific to particular movements in particular circumstances? If so, please categorize the above challenges (and/or constraints) accordingly. Also, in what ways might these challenges be exacerbated and/or alleviated in movements that are not leader-centric? What new challenges might such movements face?

Questions of Theory

What is the use of “grand theory” in the study of social movements? In what ways are these “grand theories” problematic? “Grand Theory” can include definitional distinctions, paradigmatic approaches to scholarship, compartmentalizing agency (insiders, outsiders, sympathizers, leaders, followers), movement lifecycle (identifying beginning, middle, end), and discussions of the role of the critic in demarcating movement activity. What “grand theories” seem to permeate the readings, either as assumptions or arguments and under what justifications are they challenged?