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Unit 3 who are activists & what motivates pptx
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Unit 3 who are activists & what motivates pptx



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  • 1. Chapters from reader: pp.55-59 Intro to Part III, Ch. 7 McAdam, Ch.9 Kurzman, pp.93-95 Intro to Part IV, Ch. 11 Whittier - Video clips about Freedom Summer
  • 2. What makes the activists join movements while others (free riders) do not? Free riders can always benefit from the work of the activists without having to do the work themselves. So why should anyone join? Multiple explanations: • individualistic/ personality • Structural • cultural
  • 3. Crowd theory: alienated, frustrated people swept up in irrational behavior Movements provide incentives to entice people to join, so rational calculation Mass society: people join because they lack connections to organizations and networks
  • 4. Are there certain social conditions that help explain why people become activists, independent of their personalities? Biographical availability (McAdam) Social networks include activists (McAdam)
  • 5. Frame theory: activist communities collectively define meanings of problem and solution Collective identity or feeling part of the group helps explain participation as well Moral shocks: people protest because of a feeling of moral obligation
  • 6. Recently, scholars of social movements argue for combining individual, structural, and cultural explanations Read paragraph at bottom of p.58
  • 7. We’ve already explored explanations for joining movements But why do people stay involved? Reasons for joining may differ from reasons for staying involved Many common processes within movements help motivate activists to continue their participation. See next slide for examples:
  • 8. Movements commonly engage in these practices which creates a sense of solidarity among activists: • Collective decision making • Consciousness raising • Group boundary maintenance (polarization frames) • Collective empowerment (drama of experiencing mass protest)