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Who takes part in May Day marches?
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3886-0298
2016 (English)In: The Ritual of May Day in Western Europe: Past, Present and Future / [ed] Abby Peterson & Herbert Reiter, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016, 187-216 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this chapter I examine which socio-demographic groups take part in contemporary May Day demonstrations in Western Europe. In particular I focus on social class, but also on other relevant social categories such as gender, age and ethnicity and whether they vary between specific types of demonstrations and between the countries in our sample. Firstly, the chapter discusses the socio-demographic profiles of those taking part in such annual events. Are May Day participants more or less representative of the wider population? Do they differ from participants in other types of demonstrations? Secondly, I interrogate the composition and role of social class in May Day marches, both with regard to the individuals’ objective positions in the labour market and their subjective class identifications, and analyse the factors that shape May Day marchers’ class identity. Thirdly, I analyse which social and political characteristics most strongly influence individuals’ decisions to join a May Day parade. This chapter’s analysis is based on the survey data for individual demonstrators collected within the international research programme Caught in the Act of Protest: Contextualising Contestation (CCC). In this chapter I analyse the participants in fifteen May Day demonstrations in six Western European countries surveyed during the period 2010–2012 (cf. chapter 7). In order to determine whether participants in May Day demonstrations differ from participants in other types of street protests and marches, I also compare them with data from a sample of 23 additional demonstrations surveyed within the CCC project. In order to compare the social composition of the surveyed May Day demonstrations with the general population, I also use data from the European Social Survey and the Swedish SOM Institute’s national survey.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2016. 187-216 p.
The Mobilization Series on Social Movements, Protest, and Culture
Keyword [en]
May Day, Labour movement. Protests, Social class
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30829ISBN: 9781472415271 (print)OAI: diva2:958154
Caught in the act of protest: Contextualizing contestation (CCC)
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, FAS 2008-1799
Available from: 2016-09-06 Created: 2016-09-06 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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