21 February, 2011 — SolidarityEconomy.net via Chronicle of Higher Education
In the 15th to 19th centuries, when Europeans rebelled against their rulers, they frequently heaped up barrels, paving stones, and any other handy objects to create immovable masses in city streets.
Such defensive and tactical structures went together so readily, so cooperatively, that it seemed the insurrectionists were acting on instinct.
In a new book, The Insurgent Barricade (University of California Press), Mark Traugott relates the history of “the most striking embodiment” of the revolutionary spirit of the times. And it is the dissemination of “barricade consciousness” that most interests the scholar, a professor of history and sociology at the University of California at Santa Cruz. The barricades show, he writes, how people choose and symbolize the way they voice their discontent and collective hopes.
A touchstone of his research, he says, has been a 1970s concept from the historian, sociologist, and political scientist Charles Tilly, the “repertoire of collective action,” referring to the range of protest techniques available at any particular place and time.