Catalogue


Challenging authority : how ordinary people change America /
Frances Fox Piven.
imprint
Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
description
vii, 195 p.
ISBN
0742515354 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780742515352 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Lanham : Rowman & Littlefield, 2006.
isbn
0742515354 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780742515352 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
The nature of disruptive power -- The mob and the state : disruptive power and the construction of American electoral-representative arrangements -- Dissensus politics, or the interaction of disruptive challenges with electoral politics -- Movements and reform in the American twentieth century -- The times-in-between.
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
5943018
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
Challenging Authority is a lively, timely, and illuminating account of moments of popular insurgency when those outside the mainstream have driven issues to the center of political debate. Piven has written a vivid reminder that ordinary people can change America when they find the true source of their power. Most importantly, when the people themselves rise up in anger and hope, all Americans get to witness real democracy in action.
Challenging Authority is itself a challenge to authority, contesting conventional interpretations of American history, from the Revolution to present-day protests against the interdependent global economy. It offers a compelling argument for the vital democratic role of 'disruptive power,' showing how successive phases of short-lived collective defiance culminate in progressive policy outcomes, but also how these are eroded and suppressed as democratic politics resumes its normal course. This is important reading for students of democratic politics.
Challenging Authority is like a Molotov cocktail in an elegant crystal decanter. Piven deploys meticulous reasoning and wide-ranging research to show that social change comes ultimately from the disruptive actions of ordinary people ”strikes, sit-ins, riots. Challenging Authority challenges all of us to re-think our notions of who makes history and how. It may be Piven's best work yet.
Frances Fox Piven has done it again! With undiminished authority, she offers a sweeping examination of disruptive movements at key moments in American history, from the revolutionary period to the present. Her examination of the relations between disruption and electoral politics underscores an implicit criticism of both 'radical' visions and academic research that isolates social movements from politics. In their place, she reveals the intricate, contradictory, but ultimately democratizing impact of disrupting established institutional routines. This penetrating analysis offers sage advice for those who are discouraged by the current reversion of democracy in these times of imperial expansion and threats to civil liberties.Thirty-five years after the publication of her seminal Regulating the Poor, this is vintage Piven empowered with new insights.
Frances Fox Piven has written yet another terrific book. Building on her previous work with Richard Cloward, she scales new heights in uncovering 'the dynamics of disruptive power.' Theoretically profound, yet immensely readable, with enormous comparative as well as historical range, she shows how 'the people-out-of-doors' have effected progressive policy reforms at critical junctures in American history. The practical relevance of this for politics in the USA today is clear on every page. And so are the lessons it has to teach social movement theorists as well as institutionalist political scientists and sociologists.
Frances Fox Piven here offers us a brilliant analysis of the interplay between popular protest and electoral politics. She challenges conventional theory as she explains, with stylistic clarity and sound historical evidence, the limitations of voting as a democratic tool and the power of disruptive action to achieve social change.
Piven's book is succinct and masterful.
This quintessential Pivenesque book eloquently traces how ordinary people, whose efforts to advance their rights and interests are in normal times limited by our political system, have taken it upon themselves to correct injustices. Piven shows this to be true from the founding days of our nation and explains how and why this can continue to be so even in our new, globalized economy.
Zooming in on the American revolution, the abolitionist movement, the early twentieth-century rise of the labour movement, and the Vietnam anti-war movement, she argues that these historical intervals of protest movements wield a form of disruptive power that leads to fundamentally egalitarian democratic reform.
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Summaries
Long Description
Argues that ordinary people exercise extraordinary political courage and power in American politics when, frustrated by politics as usual, they rise up in anger and hope, and defy the authorities and the status quo rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives. By doing so, they disrupt the workings of important institutions and become a force in American politics. Drawing on critical episodes in U.S. history, Piven shows that it is in fact precisely at those seismic moments when people act outside of political norms that they become empowered to their full democratic potential.
Long Description
Challenging Authority argues that ordinary people exercise extraordinary political courage and power in American politics when, frustrated by politics as usual, they rise up in anger and hope and defy the authorities and the status quo rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives. By doing so, they disrupt the workings of important institutions and become a force in American politics. Drawing on critical episodes in American history, Frances Fox Piven shows that it is precisely at those seismic moments when people act outside of self-restricting political norms that they become empowered to their full democratic potential.
Main Description
Challenging Authority argues that ordinary people exercise real power in American politics mainly at those extraordinary moments when they rise up in anger and hope, defy the rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives, and by doing so, disrupt the workings of the institutions in which they are enmeshed. These are the conditions that produce the democratic moments in American political development.
Unpaid Annotation
What do the American Revolution, the Abolitionist movement, the labor movement, and the Vietnam antiwar movement have in common? These are examples of the profound moments in American history when ordinary Americans collectively and persuasively told the government ENOUGH! Challenging Authority argues that ordinary people exercise extraordinary political courage and power in American politics when, frustrated by politics as usual, they rise up in anger and hope, and defy the authorities and the status quo rules that ordinarily govern their daily lives. By doing so, they disrupt the workings of important institutions and become a force in American politics. Drawing on critical episodes in American history, Frances Fox Piven shows that it is in fact precisely at those seismic moments when people act outside of self-restricting political norms that they become empowered to their full democratic potential.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
The Nature of Disruptive Powerp. 19
The Mob and the State: Disruptive Power and the Construction of American Electoral-Representative Arrangementsp. 37
Dissensus Politics, or the Interaction of Disruptive Challenges with Electoral Politics: The Case of the Abolitionist Movementp. 55
Movements and Reform in the American Twentieth Centuryp. 81
The Times-In-Betweenp. 109
Epiloguep. 139
Notesp. 147
Indexp. 185
About the Authorp. 195
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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