Fiches de synthèse

A social movement is : * an organized group of individuals working together to change and transform social, political or economic reality * a collective action based on a specific repertoire of contention (sit-in, demonstration, strike, ...) trying to change some norms and/or laws (reform movement) and/or more deeply the social order (radical movement) like the Polish Solidarity (Solidarnosc in the 80's in Poland).

What's a repertoire of contention?

It's the set of various protest related tools  (ensemble des moyens utilisés pour protester, manifester son mécontentement) and actions available to a movement in a given time frame.

The paradox of collective action and the free rider.

Free rider : "free riders" are those who consume more than their fair share of a public resource, or shoulder less than a fair share of the costs of its production. “'why should I trouble myself when others can do it and I can just reap the benefits after their hard work”'. It's the paradox of collective action according to Mancur OLSON. Nobody from a individual point of view has an economic interest to join a collective action althought this action will give a net positive outcome because he has to spend time (demonstrations, finding slogans, making placards), and even money in a strike (wage losses).

Toward a radicalization of labour conflicts?

The idea of radicalization give an argument to the marxian viewpoint because employees show their desperation and the absence of any alternative.

An example : Let's blow up bottles of gas !

“New Fabris was declared in liquidation in April, so the workers stand to get no redundancy money, although they are entitled to draw state unemployment benefit. They want Renault SA and PSA Peugeot Citroen  to pay 30,000 euros ($41,800) for each of the 336 staff at the factory, or some 10 million euros in total, in return for its remaining stocks of equipment and machinery. "The bottles of gas have already been placed at various parts of the factory and are connected with each other," CGT trades union official Guy Eyermann told France Info radio. "If Renault and PSA refuse to give us that money it could blow up before the end of the month," he added”.

An another example : "bossnapping" a porte-manteau of boss and kidnapping. So bossnapping = sequestration of boss and/or executives (cadres). 

“Bosses across the world are having to break bad news to employees as companies go under. But that can be a risky business in France, where some furious workers have taken to holding their managers hostage to demand better pay-offs. "This action is our only currency. But there is no aggression," said union representative Jean-Francois Caparros from the plant owned by the US industrial conglomerate 3M in the central town of Pithiviers. The detention came less than two weeks after workers held the boss of Sony France hostage for a night and barricaded their factory entrance with tree trunks. They freed him only after he agreed to reopen talks on their pay-off. In neither case did police intervene to free the managers, in a tacit recognition that such radical tactics were part of negotiations and that no harm would come to the bosses. (…) "This sort of thing will inevitably happen again," said Bruno Lemerle of the CGT union in the Peugeot car plant in Sochaux, France's biggest factory. "Those who sow misery reap fury. The violence is done by those who cut jobs, not by those who try to defend them," he said (…) Worker-employer relations are not particularly good at the best of times in France, but since the economic storm struck they have deteriorated rapidly”.

According to K. MARX

Class in itself : classe en soi =  a category of people having a common relation to the means of production, that is those who own and those who doesn't own the means of production.

Class for itself : classe pour soi = A class of individuals conscious of sharing a common social situation and who unite to pursue common interests.


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