This article examines the explanatory capacity of Pierre Bourdieu’s work in relation to social movements and, in particular, identity movements. It aims to provide a theoretical framework drawing on Bourdieu’s central concepts of field, capital and habitus. These concepts are viewed as providing a theoretical toolkit that can be applied to convincingly explain aspects of social movements that social movement theories, such as political process theory, resource mobilization theory and framing, acknowledge, but are not able to explain within a single theoretical framework. Identity movements are approached here in a way that relates them to the position agents/movements occupy in social spaces, resources and cultural competence. This enables us to consider identity movements from a new perspective that explains, for instance, the interrelatedness of class and identity movements.
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