Inequality, Inclusion, and Protest. Jeffrey Alexander’s Theory of the Civil Sphere

  • Thomas Kern


While traditional system theory regarded social movements as a problem for the functioning of society, Jeffrey Alexander understands functional differentiation as a contentious process and shifts social movements to the center of attention. Focusing on the relationship between social differentiation and integration, Alexander analyzes the public sphere as a central arena for integration. The forces shaping the public sphere are politics, law, and mass media, which establish cultural codes and enable as well as restrict mobilization. Social movements play a crucial role in balancing the tension between productive input and destructive intrusions. Alexander thus highlights the importance and potentials of social movements.


Civil Society Social Movement Cultural Center Modern Democracy Civic Association 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universität BambergBambergGermany

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