Cultic Milieu / Edition 1

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Overview

In 1999, a seemingly incongruous collection of protestors converged in Seattle to shut down the meetings of the World Trade Organization. Union leaders, environmentalists dressed as endangered turtles, mainstream Christian clergy, violence-advocating anarchists, gay and lesbian activists, and many other diverse groups came together to protest what they saw as the unfair power of a nondemocratic elite. But how did such strange bedfellows come together? And can their unity continue? In 1972—another period of social upheaval—sociologist Colin Campbell posited a "cultic milieu": An underground region where true seekers test hidden, forgotten, and forbidden knowledge. Ideas and allegiances within the milieu change as individuals move between loosely organized groups, but the larger milieu persists in opposition to the dominant culture. Jeffrey Kaplan and Helene Loow find Campbell's theory especially useful in coming to grips with the varied oppositional groups of today. While the issues differ, current subcultures often behave in similar ways to deviant groups of the past. The Cultic Milieu brings together scholars looking at racial, religious and environmental oppositional groups as well as looking at the watchdog groups that oppose these groups in turn. While providing fascinating information on their own subjects, each essay contributes to a larger understanding of our present-day cultic milieu. For classes in the social sciences or religious studies, The Cultic Milieu offers a novel way to look at the interactions and ideas of those who fight against the powerful in our global age.

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Editorial Reviews

American Journal of Sociology
An original and valuable contribution to the sociology of 'stigmatized knowledge' . . . parts of the book will be invaluable reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students on courses in social movements, sociology of religion, and popular culture.
— James A. Beckford, University of Warwick
Sociology Of Religion
[An] elegantly readable book. . . . I can say unequivocally . . . that it has much to offer scholars in a variety of disciplines.
— Susan Schept
Sociology of Religion
[An] elegantly readable book. . . . I can say unequivocally . . . that it has much to offer scholars in a variety of disciplines.
— Susan Schept
Robert Ellwood
What do deep ecologists, neo-nazis, goths, black nationalists, and urban shamans have in common? They are all part of a 'cultic milieu,' an underground culture that embraces everyone, right or left, good or bad, who thrives on standing in opposition to the social mainstream. The articles in this book explore how and why, as they analyze movements that have rarely been brought together before. It's a fantastic collection, bound to blow the world of cultic studies wide open.
Colin Campbell
This is an important and timely book that focus attention on an increasingly significant phenomenon, that of cultural opposition and dissent. It is gratifying to find cultic milieu theory being revived in this context and being put to such good use to shed light on the confusing and diverse world of radical environmentalism, communitarianism, racism, mysticism and magic. Kaplan and Loow are to be congratulated on producing a collection that constitutes the first serious attempt to chart this complex phenomenon and in so doing giving us invaluable insights into the contemporary world of cultural deviance and resistance.
CHOICE, June 2003 - W.L. Pitts Jr
This book is a provocative and useful contribution to understanding pluralism.
American Journal of Sociology - James A. Beckford
An original and valuable contribution to the sociology of 'stigmatized knowledge' . . . parts of the book will be invaluable reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students on courses in social movements, sociology of religion, and popular culture.
Sociology of Religion: A Quarterly Review - Susan Schept
[An] elegantly readable book. . . . I can say unequivocally . . . that it has much to offer scholars in a variety of disciplines.
Paul Heelas
Enter the wilder shores of countercultural, utopian territories where, in the words of the editor, 'proscribed and/or forbidden knowledge is the coin of the realm;' where activities range from the extreme left to the extreme right, from white to black, from the radically communal to the radically individualistic, with oppositional environmentalism and the search for purity as recurrent themes. Important currents, often capable of posing threats to the mainstream, are explored in depth in The Cultic Milieu: a book which will certainly engage, and probably concern, the reader.
CHOICE, June 2003 - W. L. Pitts Jr.
This book is a provocative and useful contribution to understanding pluralism.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759102040
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 2 The Cult, the Cultic Milieu and Secularization 3 Diggers, Wolfs, Ents, Elves and Expanding Universes: Global Bricolage and the Question of Violence within the Subcultures of Radical Environmentalism 4 The Historical Communal Roots of Ultraconservative Groups: Earlier American Communes That Have Shaped Today's Far Right 5 Neo-Shamanism, Psychic Phenomena, and Media Trickery: Cultic Differences in Hungary 6 The Gothic Milieu 7 Black and White Unite in Fight? On the Interaction Between Black and White Radical Racialists 8 The Idea of Purity: The Swedish Racist Counterculture, Animal Rights, and Environmental Protection 9 The Postwar Paths of Occult National Socialism: From Rockwell and Mandole to Manson 10 Thriving in a Cultic Milieu: The World Union of National Socialists, 1962-1992 11 The Modern Anti-Cult Movement in Historical Perspective 12 "Who Watches the Watchman?" Another Side to the Watchdog Groups

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