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Anatomy of a Movement

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A model for social change. How do the different components of a movement interact? What happens if they fail accept each others influence? A presentation created in the early 90's and still very relevant today.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Anatomy of a Movement

  1. 1. Anatomy of a Movement (breakdown follows) Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) Lobbying Political pressure (Media-political classes) Flyers, Events (Vague mandate Causes problems) Legal action Popularism General Mandate Specific Mandate Urgency Representation Votes Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport” Extremism Extremism Instability Disinteres Disinteres
  2. 2. Many movements break down into three interdependent spheres. These sphere’s have different agenda’s, motivations, and audiences. They therefore need different kinds of communication Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport”
  3. 3. Here we can see the differing mechanisms of communication, but it’s important to remember that the three spheres will have different tones. In large movements these tones are carried by different brands or organisations. Eg friends of the earth, greenpeace, sea sheppard, the green parties. In small movements actors in each sphere need to be careful not to alienate each other. Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) Civil Disobedience Stunts Pickets and boycotts (Activists) Peer to peer and media (social influencers) Lobbying Political pressure (Media-political classes) Flyers, Events (Vague mandate Causes problems) Legal action marginalisation Popularism Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport” Popularism happens when the political convinces the social that it is saying what it thinks to the extend that people start to think what they say. It’s not always a bad thing but can be very fragile. Both social and direct spheres distribute fliers and hold events - the difference is that the social sphere tends to have positive, non aggressive messages aimed at the neutral, and the direct sphere tends to tackle those that it sees as wrong dooers. Both risk offending each other eg vegan animal rights activists being upset by non vegan food at events or moderate anti hunt campaigners being alienated by attacks on hunters. An example of a vague mandate is extremists clashing with police on marches and the police over reacting. The police increasingly try to isolate extremists in large marches. Legal action can be an effective tool to directly influence the political sphere – especially the executive branch. If activists are too extreme they risk being dismissed.
  4. 4. Never the less these spheres are interdependent. Most organisations have elements of each and only the silent majority sits in only one sphere. Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) General Mandate Specific Mandate Urgency Representation Votes Inspiration and information support Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport”
  5. 5. There is a tendency in each sphere to believe that it’s objectives are paramount. The red arrows show the risks of each sphere drifting away from the others. Look familiar? Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) Lobbying Political pressure (Media-political classes) Flyers, Events (Vague mandate Causes problems) Legal action Popularism General Mandate Specific Mandate Urgency Representation Votes Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport” Extremism Extremism Instability Disinteres Disinteres
  6. 6. There is a tendency in each sphere to believe that it’s objectives are paramount. The red arrows show the risks of each sphere drifting away from the others. Look familiar? Political (Legislative/Executive) Political (Legislative/Executive) Social (Vision for Society) Social (Vision for Society) Direct (Moral Imperative) Direct (Moral Imperative) Lobbying Political pressure (Media-political classes) Flyers, Events (Vague mandate Causes problems) Legal action Popularism General Mandate Specific Mandate Urgency Representation Votes Eg “stop driving now” Eg “I want my children to breath clean air” Eg “maximum ppm emissions Or more public transport” Extremism Extremism Instability Disinteres Disinteres

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