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Black Flags and Social MovementsA Sociological Analysis of Movement Anarchism$
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Dana M. Williams

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526105547

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526105547.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 May 2022

Conclusion: Revisiting the epistemology of anarchist movements

Conclusion: Revisiting the epistemology of anarchist movements

(p.226) 9 Conclusion: Revisiting the epistemology of anarchist movements
Black Flags and Social Movements

Dana M. Williams

Manchester University Press

Numerous conclusions can be drawn from preceding chapters. These conclusions include: anarchist movements are legitimately and empirically social movements; anarchists and their organizations are diverse, geographically dispersed, and have pronounced connections to past anarchists and their organizations; theories like political opportunity, new social movements, and social capital help to illuminate the variation and functioning of anarchist movements; and anarchists use a variety of techniques to successfully operate with non-anarchists, without compromising their ideological integrity. Then, a larger and more serious question needs to be asked by researchers who are sympathetic to their research subjects: can having an intimate, empirical understanding of a movement be bad for the movement and good for governments (and other agents of social control)? Or, hopefully, will the benefits of greater knowledge outweigh any negative outcomes? Finally, although research is never perfect or universally-generalizable, it may sometimes (and its best instances) be practical and useful to activists.

Keywords:   Knowledge, epistemology, risks, methodology

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