Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
In the most conventional usage, contentious participation refers to forms of political participation that employ nonconventional, confrontational means of action in expressing collective interests, such as demonstrations, strikes, and boycotts. Contentious participation here represents an alternative to institutionalized channels of participation, such as election, interest group activities, and political parties. However, a growing number of scholars have been starting to use the concept of contentious participation to illustrate the contentious nature inherent in all forms of political action, which range from peaceful acts such as voting and lobbying to disruptive and oftentimes violent protest. This latter view highlights aspects of continuity in what have been conventionally understood to be categorically different forms of participation. This changing interpretation of contentious participation mirrors the change in how the literature has come to understand protests and/or social movements. Previously, a social movement was commonly understood to be an action form carried out by ...