French Revolutionary Syndicalism and the Public Sphere

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This study explores the interaction of the Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT) with the French public sphere, between 1900 and 1920. The CGT supported federalist worker control of industry, and, by World War I, had developed a distinctively productivist discourse, emphasizing increased material output through direction of the economy. Kenneth Tucker examines the triumph of this productivism in contrast with other visions of society and the future, while giving a Habermasian twist to the recent linguistic turn in labor history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...this is a dense and ambitious study of French revolutionary syndicalism during the belle epoque that should be of interest to labor historians as well as to those interested in contemporary sociological theory." Elizabeth Sage, Journal of Modern History

"Kenneth Tucker is to be congratulated for this formidable intellectual accomplishment....Scholars and students in history, sociology, and anthropology will find Tucker's work a valuable educational experience." Neil Smelser, Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford

"French Revolutionary Syndication and the Public Sphere is an original and highly documented book that explores the evolution of French syndicalist organization." Alberto Spektorowski, AJS

"...a sensitive readeing of an historical case used to motivate a critical but sympathetic critique of contemporary social theory, and particularly the work of Habermas." Christopher K. Ansell, Social Forces

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521563598
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Series: Cambridge Cultural Social Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: Prologue; 1. The Belle Epoque and revolutionary syndicalism; Part I. Reconfiguring the Language of Labour: The Advantages and Limitations of a Habermasian Historical Sociology: 2. Syndicalism, the New Orthodoxy and the postmodern turn; 3. Public discourse and civil society: Habermas, Bourdieu and the new social movements; Part II. Visions of Modernity in the Liberal and Proletarian Public Spheres: Positivism, Republicanism and Social Science: 4. The liberal and proletarian public spheres in nineteenth-century France; 5. The fin-de-siècle public sphere, the academic field and the social sciences; Part III. Exploring Revolutionary Syndicalism: 6. Pelloutier, Sorel and revolutionary syndicalism; 7. Reformulating revolutionary syndicalism; 8. Toward a new public sphere: Taylorism, consumerism and the postwar CGT; Conclusion: 9. The legacy of syndicalism; Notes; Index.

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