Anarchists and Labor Unions: An Analysis Using New Social Movement Theories

By Dana Williams

The goal of this article is to explore the characteristics of North American anarchists who are union members. New social movement (NSM) theories suggest that movements have changed in recent decades to focus less on economic issues and have divorced themselves from the working class. The union membership of anarchists is related to subjective working-class status, age, being from North America, economic anarchist ideology, anarchist movement participation, and activist identity. Given these findings, it is questionable how well the arguments offered by NSM theories—specifically a postmaterialist focus and emphasis upon collective cultural identity—are able to describe anarchists.


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