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Environmental Movements

Christopher Rootes

Subject Sociology » Environmental Sociology, Social Movements

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


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Environmental movements are networks of informal interactions that may include, as well as individuals and groups who have no organizational affiliation, organizations of varying degrees of formality (including even political parties, especially Green parties) that are engaged in collective action motivated by shared identity or concern about environmental issues. Such networks are generally loose and uninstitutionalized, but their forms of action and their degree of integration vary. However, environmental movements are not identical to organizations or episodes of protest. It is only when organizations (and other, usually less formally organized actors) are networked and engaged in collective action, whether or not it involves protest, that an environmental movement exists ( Diani 1995 : 5; Rootes 2004a ). Such linkages are not always readily visible. Where environmental movements are well established, the balance of their actions is likely to have shifted from highly visible protest to less visible lobbying and even “constructive engagement” with governments and corporations. Just as the collective action of the movement may become less visible, so too, where environmentalism has become most entrenched, there are many “subterranean” linkages among groups and organizations, and the full range of movement activities is less and less adequately represented in mass media. The methodological ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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