What we study when we study global social movements


I’m collaborating on a piece tangentially related to this, but it occurred to me that there are ways to assess what we study when we study global social movements. I doubt anyone will be surprised by this, but it turns out lefty causes are overrepresented in the canon, and we probably claim-censor movements whose politics we find reprehensible when building theories of how movements work. For every dissertation related to a conservative, reactionary, or regressive global movement, five are written on causes more closely associated with left politics.

I got this data by downloading the title and abstract of all dissertations in ProQuest’s database retrieved from the following search: (“social movement*” AND “global” OR “transnational” OR “international” in the abstract) from 1989-2016. All of the raw and coded data are in my GitHub repo—suggestions and inter-rater reliability coding offers welcome 🙂

>>I obviously didn’t read and code all 4k + dissertation abstracts; the graphs above are from a 10% random subsample.<<

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