Essay On Charles Tilly

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Repertoire of contention Charles Tilly.

As this paper aims at outlining, delineating and comparing pre-industrial and industrial protests and social movements Charles Tilly`s theory on repertoire of contention is one of the most applicable and effective for such an objective. Charles Tilly`s theory serves as an excellent delineation of the contrast between pre-industrial and industrial manners of people acting together when in the pursuit of shared interests. In the 1870s people were aware of how to express their grievance such as seizing shipments of grain, attack tax gatherers, and take revenge on wrongdoers and people who had violated community norms. However what they were not familiar yet with were acts such as mass demonstrations, urban insurrections and strikes (Tarrow, 1998). By observing the repertoire of contention Tilly managed not only to track the rise of the national social movement, but also to analyze and explain it. Utilizing the repertoire of contention in order to compare and understand the behaviour of people with regards to expressing their grievances within the aforementioned two periods.
As Tarrow already stated the most interesting element form Tilly`s concept of repertoire is “it’s the relationship to the raise of national social movement” (Tarrow, 1995). In order understanding of the traditional and modular repertoire of contention, proper understanding of such a relationship is also required. It is imperative then to start from simply what Tilly refers to as a “repertoire of contention”. According to Tilly the word repertoire signifies for “a limited set of routines that are learned, shared, acted out through a relatively deliberate process of choice” (p.26, Traugott,1995). What Tilly emphasizes on is...

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...e obvious and fundamental in the riots after 1840`s. Even though a substantial minority consisted of rural craftsmen such as carpenters, joiners, bricklayers, masons, cobblers, tinsmiths, tailors, weavers, and paper makers the majority were of the participants in the Swing riots were farm labourers in the strictest sense. (Rude, 2002). The homogeneity of the social composition links again to the traditional form of collective action.
A resemblance between Bloch`s, Tilly`s and Rude`s viewpoints can be noticed. All three scholars deem the pre-industrial collective behaviour as very bifurcated, parochial and particular. It could be observed that Tilly`s traditional repertoire of contention could successfully fit the Captain Swing riots. As observed all three characteristics of the traditional repertoire can be applied on the way the Captain Swing riots were executed.
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