Social Movement Outcomes and the Transformation of Boundaries in Crisis-Ridden Greece


The literature of social movement outcomes is engaged with the study of social change. However, social movement theories limit the explanatory potential of social movements' political outcomes, only in relation to policy and institutional change. Therefore, they do not pay attention to the various political qualities which emerge from protest cycles and move away from institutional arrangements. Against this backdrop, the paper suggests approaching social transformations as changes in boundaries. Boundaries define, each time, the limits of social settings and describe organizational and identarian aspirations of social change in daily life. Periods of crises are characterized by intense transformations, which overcome the old and create new boundaries. Based on qualitative field research conducted in more than 50 social movement organizations in Greece, between 2016 and 2017, the paper analyses the mechanisms that facilitated the enlargement of social movements' cognitive and structural boundaries, towards service-oriented repertoires of action. By studying social movement outcomes through boundary transformations, the paper challenges the rigid categorizations of movement outcomes and unravels the interactions among their personal, cultural and political aspects. As such, it demonstrates the need for social movement theories to consider non-institutional political changes of daily life, within the study of movement outcomes.

Keywords: social movements; prefigurative politics; political outcomes; social boundaries; economic crisis; Greece


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