9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN25 Social Movements

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Outcomes of Activism Building I, 1E3

Feminism in Sicily. Cultural outcomes, success and failures of a social movement

The field of cultural outcomes has been neglected in social movement studies, except for very few studies (Gamson 1998, Earl 2004). Therefore cultural change is an essential outcome of the collective action of social movements. Social movements expressly plan and pursue modifications in the symbolical meaning of objects, behavioural norms and prevailing opinion. In fact, the goals of social movements strategies concern the creation of new symbols, alternative norms and the modification of discourse on a particular topic (Swildler 1986; Wuthnow 1989). Cultural modifications are usually not direct nor do they have short-term effects. That may make it difficult to understand the mechanisms of the achievement of a specific outcome. In fact, scholars often use the consequences of the women's movement to exemplify the matter (Marx, McAdams 1994; della Porta, Diani 1997; McAdam, Show 1997).
The aim of this contribution is to investigate, through qualitative interviews with the ancient feminist activists of the movement in Sicily, who participate to the seventies revolts, the outcomes, successes and failures of the movement, looking for casual relationships between stated goals and achieved outcomes, the different perspectives of the opinions of outsiders and actors, and the unintended outcomes of the purposive goals and actions of activists.