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Week 6 Lectures.pptx

  1. 1. PART II: The Nation-State and its Challengers State Formation Nationalism Social Movements
  2. 2. What are they doing wrong?
  3. 3. Myth #1: The Spontaneity Myth
  4. 4. Andrea "The need for a preexisting communications network or infrastructure within the social base of a movement is a primary prerequisite for 'spontaneous' activity" (Freeman, p. 14 in Goodwin and Jasper) "There is no question that the original spaces of resistance were formed on the Internet, as traditional forms of protest were met with utmost ferocity by a police that had been torturing with impunity (occasionally subcontracted by the CIA for anti-terrorist operations) for as long as the thugs could remember. It is also clear that the calls to demonstrate on January 25, and then on successive dates were sent via Facebook, to be received by an active following made up of youth for whom social networks and mobile phones were a central part of their way of life." (Castells, p. 46-47 in Goodwin and Jasper) Many of the authors we read this past week emphasized the importance of a communications network in the formation of a social movement. Because of the ease of worldwide communication today thanks to the Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, ideas and information can be disseminated at a rate never seen before. Thus, it seems that social movements can be started and spread more quickly than ever before, as evidenced by the integral role social media played in the Arab Spring and Occupy movements. However, in a world where instigating a social movement is as easy as putting a hashtag in front of a key phrase or buzzword, I question whether the expansion of communication networks through the Internet translates into more effective social movements. If you look at something like Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter, you see that while the ease of communication helped spread these movements enough for them to garner national attention, they don't seem to effect much change (perhaps it's still too early to say this for Black Lives Matter, but that movement already seems to be fading away from public consciousness). In fact, one of the principles of the Occupy movement was to specifically not make demands in order to generalize the movement for a greater number of people. Is there a tradeoff between the volume of people that can be reached and having specific, attainable goals in a social movement, and does the Internet and the ease of communication exasperate this dichotomy?
  5. 5. Kate “To sum up, if a co-optable communications network is already established, a crisis is all that is necessary to galvanize it. If it is rudimentary, an organizing cadre of one or more persons is necessary. Such a cadre is superfluous if the former conditions fully exist, but it is essential if they do not.” –Goodwin & Jasper, pg. 14 The idea of a “co-optable communications network” is interesting in the context of modern social media networks. Social media can connect people around the world and as a result can create communications networks on much larger scales. This is helpful for modern movements because they can reach more people, but because these networks are so spread out, it also means their connections to people are weaker. It reminds me a lot of the “hashtag activism” label a lot of the movements get, criticizing them for getting many followers who will support them on the surface but aren’t committed – they’ll tweet about issues but won’t engage in actual activism. Goodwin and Jasper recognize the impact that social media had on the OWS and Egyptian protests, but don’t explicitly apply the same analysis and criteria they had for the women’s movement to these modern protests. One of OWS’s main points was that they had no organizing cadre, for example, yet the authors still declare that OWS was a “success”. Additionally, if social media allows supporters to become more easily connected, doesn’t it also make it easier for opponents to speak out, too? Numerous feminist activists on Twitter or Facebook need to block thousands of people a day who can easily and anonymously send threats over the internet. I suppose that Simmel would argue that opposition to such forces would only unite those feminist activists more.
  6. 6. Myth #2: The Leadership Myth
  7. 7. Myth #3: The Failure Myth
  8. 8. Myth #4: The Underclass Myth
  9. 9. Vivian “ . . . these scholars agree that movements do passionate ‘framing work’: shaping grievances into broader and more resonant claims. Framing not only relates to the generalization of a grievance, but defines the ‘us’ and ‘them’’ in a movement’s conflict structure” (Tarrow, 21). I thought I would look at this quote in light of the Occupy Wall Street movement. While OWS definitely set up an “us” and “them” dynamic with the slogan the participants united under: “We are the 99%,” I would like to question whether the type of “framing work” Tarrow mentions actually occurred. In the Social Movements Reader, the point was made that there was an absence of specified demands and that there were a wide range of issues that people who joined the OWS movement were concerned with. There was such a range of concerns that I don’t believe they can be synthesized to be a “generalization of a grievance” as Tarrow states.
  10. 10. Even more complex!
  11. 11. Myth #5: The (State or Movement) Benevolence Myth
  12. 12. Social movements change with the times. But are the changes fundamental or superficial? Myth #6: The Novelty Myth?
  13. 13. Ben "In another sense, unconventional is not defined by novelty per se, but by movement outside the normal routines of politics. All forms of direct action are thus unconventional...Unconventional means in this sense are particularly likely in a movement of people who have few resources other than their public actions." (Calhoun, pg. 405-6) On reading this quote, I was reminded of movements such as the American civil rights movement of the 60's, and even more broadly, to the struggle to extend constitutional rights beyond white, wealthy, males in the United Sates. For an unfortunately long time, the laws of the United States restricted political participation to a small subset of the population. Blacks, women, and even poor whites could not vote, and so any agitation by these groups to gain constitutional equality was almost by definition "outside the normal political routines". Even after they nominally gained suffrage, African Americans were kept from the ballots by discriminatory legislation, barring them access to the political process. Without any significant political presence, the civil rights movement's most powerful resource was truly its public actions: marches, boycotts, sit-ins all helped it in gaining national attention, putting pressure on politicians to bring about equity and justice. What I think is very intriguing, in short, is how dominant groups can exclude others from the conventional channels of politics, and by doing so, establish conditions whereby any attempt by other groups to enter the "normal routines of politics" will perforce have to be unconventional.
  14. 14. NSMs: How “New” Are They? So-called new social movement (NSM) theory has expanded the scope to movements after the 1960s, emphasizing supposed post- industrial particularities. It contrasts its subject matter with that of the older (mostly working class) movements of interest to Marxian theory.  Emphasis was placed on the constructed nature of collective identity and consciousness, including those of class, ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, youth and antiwar activist categories.  The NSMs are characterized by politicization of spheres traditionally thought to be apolitical, the prominence of cultural and symbolic demands and ways of forging identity, and their greater emphasis on participatory and non-hierarchical organizational forms. Critics (like Calhoun) have argued that the allegedly new movements do not differ significantly from older ones (reminding that traditional movements did indeed rely on symbolism and non-material, cultural construction of collective identity), and that the few differences between traditional and new movements are explained well by older theories (including the differences between pre- and post-industrial movement organization).
  15. 15. Ted "The communitarian visions that predominated in the movements of the era generally minimized class divisions. They offered a new kind of social relations-- egalitarian and cooperative to replace the old; they expected the beneficiaries of the old system to resist most, but they argued that the benefit of the new order would flow to everyone" (Calhoun 403). I found the foundation of his argument about New Social Movements (NSM) to have a large foundation on this idea of "classless" mobilization, which contradicts Marx's theory of social revolution. For NSMs to foster an egalitarian approach to change, practice what they wanted to see in society, to politicize "everyday life", and to open the doors to identity politics, overcoming the idea of class-boundaries seems rather required. Yet, when the movement becomes class-based, can this type of mobilization still occur? Consider maybe a push for a higher minimum wage in America, would the middle class avidly support such legislation? Even if they do, doesn't the approach of more class-based labor movements still hold with it some form of division along class lines, considering that elite/upper class individuals will want to retain the status quo? If that's the case, the argument can be made that a Marxist approach to social movements still has hints of economic determinism when it comes to labor/class-based movements.
  16. 16. Julia "The lesson to be learned for the purposes of studying social movements is that since societies are rarely stable, in equilibrium, or without strain because change is constant, the forces which have the potential of producing social movements are always present in some degree. No great upheavals are needed to bring about the conditions conducive to the rise of social movements because certain tensions seem to be endemic to society" (Wilson in McAdam, 11). McAdam's quoting of Wilson connects with conversations we had at the beginning of this class -- is society fundamentally stable or chaotic? Is society in equilibrium or in perpetual crisis? McAdam points out that strain cannot be the sole reason for social movements, since, in his opinion, society is constantly strained, and yet social movements pop up irregularly. McAdam critiques the classical theorists' views on the explanations for social movement. We can compare and contrast McAdam's views to those of Marx. Marx felt that the capitalists had created a system in which the strain of the proletariat was actually so stable and continuous that only a revolution could stop it. Contrary to McAdam, Marx seems to suggest that the intense strain on the proletariat is what holds them back from a social movement. Both authors refer to exploitation and alienation. Marx explained that exploitation was at the core of the capitalist system -- the bourgeoisie provided wages that were just enough to keep workers alive in order to return to work.
  17. 17. McAdam’s Attack on the Classical Model Punch Line: Classical (social-psychological) approach to social movements is misleading and somewhat condescending. Based on pluralist model of US politics: in America, political power is widely distributed among a host of competing groups rather than in the hands of few. No group exercises sufficient power to bar others to enter the political arena. In this case, groups not using regular political channels must be motivated by non-political aims  not rational. Three tenets: 1) social movements as responses to structural strain; 2) individual discontent as the proximate cause of social movements; 3) social movements represent a psychological rather than a political phenomenon. Mass Society Theory (the absence of structural integration; people suffer social isolation which leads to alienation and anxiety); Status Inconsistency Theory (objectively and subjectively severe and widespread discrepancy between people’s ranking on a variety of status dimensions, which leads to cognitive dissonance); Collective Behavior Theory (structural constraint, which leads to normative ambiguity).
  18. 18. Melvin "Kornhauser tells us that 'social atomization engenders strong feelings of alienation and anxiety, and therefore the disposition to engage in extreme behavior to escape from these tensions’” (McAdam pg. 7). This theory made me think of the United States in the 19th century, when anti-Chinese sentiment was very strong, and legislation such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was in action. The Chinese workers were indeed socially isolated and also alienated by the rest of the American population. However, I don’t know if any social movement or widespread extreme behavior occurred in the US as a result. Were they simply not alienated enough? Did they not have enough people to create a social movement? Did the language barrier prevent them from doing so?
  19. 19. Classical Model (study pluralist power setup) Better Models (study political context) Political power… …widely distributed, diffuse. …concentrated, is redistributed only by consistent, targeted pressure. Elite power- holders are… …highly responsive, constantly seeking greater inclusion. …generally unresponsive, exclusive except when pressured. Coercion is… …a mistake, “political suicide.” …routine, at the expense of disadvantaged groups. Movements signify… …disruption, disequilibrium. …stabilization, balancing. Social movements are… …extraordinary, abnormal. …ordinary, normal politics. Movement demands are… ….psychological. …political. Movement activists are in it for… …emotional, irrational rewards. …fulfilment of rational, pragmatic demands. Severe structural strain is… …sufficient condition for social movements. …necessary condition for social movements. Social movements consist of… …discontented individuals. …coordinated, collective action by mobilized groups.
  20. 20. Ian “Collective behavior theory posited that movements were little more than the most well-organized and self- conscious part of an archipelago of ‘emergent phenomena,' ranging from fads and rumors to collective enthusiasms, riots, movements, and revolutions… Society itself was seen to be disoriented and mobilization resulted from the urge to recompose it” (Tarrow p.16). As soon as I saw the word collective, Durkheim’s idea of collective effervescence came to mind. As I continued to read, with this in mind, I found it odd that Tarrow did not mention it. Instead, he mentioned Durkheim’s theory of anomie. This is interesting to me because I never thought of collective effervescence and anomie having to be related. However, this makes sense if given the correct scenario. The people could feel collective effervescence to the extent that they were all “unhinged from traditional roles and identities” and that, therefore, lead them to feel the same way. Does collective behavior theory have a combination of Durkheim’s ideas of collective effervescence and anomie intertwined in it?
  21. 21. Sid Tarrow Overall: interprets the rise and fall of social movements as part of social struggle and as the outcome of changes in political opportunity structure. “[T]he collective action problem is social, not individual. Movements are produced when political opportunities broaden, when they demonstrate the existence of allies and when they reveal the vulnerability of opponents. By mounting collective actions, organizers become focal points that transform external opportunities, conventions, and resources into movements. Repertoires of competition, social networks and cultural frames lower the costs of brining people together in collective action, creating a broader and more widely diffused dynamic of movement” (p. 23).
  22. 22. P.O.S. and the Civil Rights Movement Defeat of Nazi Germany; global human rights discussion. Cold War image of “Land of the Free” and leader of “Free World.” Changing Electoral Base of Democratic Party; Electoral calculations pursuing Black votes. Civil Rights Movement Dawn of TV age. Anti-colonial struggles.
  23. 23. Marx, Lenin and Gramsci What makes individuals engage in collective action? – Marx: class  people will engage in collective action when their social class is in fully developed contradiction with its antagonist. But why members of a group who “should” revolt so often fail to do so? Marx’s answer: “false” consciousness, and long-term class conflict and solidarity would eventually solve the dilemma. [political opportunity structure] – Lenin: organization  an elite of professional revolutionaries as vanguard, acting as the self-appointed guardian of the working class’s “real” interest. [organization] – Gramsci: collective intellectual  but why Lenin’s revolution failed to spread in the West? To Gramsci, organization is not sufficient; workers need to develop their own consciousness through a cadre of “organic intellectuals” developed within the working class to complement the “traditional intellectual” in the party (collective intellectual). The process is slow and long. [consensus mobilization] Among other problems: how do you prevent the cultural hegemony of bourgeois society from dominating the party, rather than vice versa?
  24. 24. Individual and Collective Choice In 1960s, scholarly attention focused on how collective action on behalf of collective goods is even possible among individuals who are guided by narrow self-interest? – Mancur Olson (1965): only a large group’s important members have sufficient interest in its collective goods to assume leadership; the larger the group, the more people prefer to “free ride” on the efforts of the individuals whose interest in the collective good is strong enough to pursue it. To overcome the “free rider” problem, would-be leaders must either impose constraints on their members or provide them with “selective incentives”. – MaCarty and Zald (1973, 1977): resource mobilization theory  the organizations are not simply those who have the strongest interest, but “professional movement entrepreneurs” to draw external resources into social movement organizations (SMO). Also: the heterogeneity of movement motivations, political structure, formal and informal organizations.
  25. 25. Amalee “For Olson, the problem of collective action was aggregative: how to involve as high a proportion of a group as possible on behalf of its collective good. …. Olson posited that, in a large group, only its most important members have a sufficient interest in achieving its collective good to take on its leadership…. the larger the group, the more people will prefer to “free-ride” the efforts of the individuals whose interest in collective good is strong enough to pursue it” (Tarrow 15). I think Olson’s contribution to collective behavior theory is an essential step for the field. His clarification that, even if grievances are shared and a group mobilizes, individuals do not engage/mobilize with the same investment is interesting because it presents social movements as a spectrum of individuals’ motivations and level of investment. While it seems somewhat a small point, I think ignoring the individual is where so many propositions and predictions about collective behavior go wrong. It is INTERESTING that when a group is so large (maybe too large to be intimately personally connected?) individuals may stay involved but only lazily. Thinking with this in mind might change how collective action occurs - if the few who are invested enough to pursue the collective good organize in a greater number of smaller groups instead of one too-large group, maybe the presence of “free-riders” would be slimmer, and the movement stronger for its aggregate of high investment. It could also provide both group identity and a larger feeling of nationalism if each group knows that other groups are mobilizing similarly. A sort of odd example of this could be when groups within one religious tradition take collective action - each local church or group would be small but highly dedicated, knowing there are multiple groups with shared identities that the local group is acting “with”.
  26. 26. Tarrow’s Preferred Approach Put the Social back into Social Movements – Political opportunity structure: consistent dimensions of political environment that encourage or discourage people from movements; most salient change in opportunity structure results from the opening up of access to power. – Contention by convention; mobilizing structures, consensus mobilization. – Module repertoires of contention: the same collective actions widely diffused; cycles of protest: more and more escalating protests may lead to revolutionary outcomes.
  27. 27. Michael “Social Movement analysts have also avoided addressing emotions, perhaps for fear of associating with discredited accounts of mass psychology. For present purposes, it is better to see social movements as including all attempts to influence patterns of culture, social action, and relationships in ways that depend on the participation of large numbers of people in concerted and self- organized (as distinct from state-directed or institutionally mandated) collective action.” – Calhoun, pp. 388 It is perplexing to me that social movement analysts had ever thought it was appropriate to preclude emotional sentiments and motivations from their analyses of social movements. Sure enough, Calhoun does make note of how this was an error, but what I would like to understand is where this aversion came from in the first place. It seems counterintuitive to leave emotions out of the equation in trying to understand social movements, which inherently arise out of emotionally charged circumstances, whether they be NSMs or old ones. Why is it that acknowledging emotional causations seems to “taint” our understanding and observations of social movements?
  28. 28. Simone "We need to recognize that feeling and thinking are parallel, interacting processes of evaluating and interacting with our worlds, composed of similar neurological building blocks" (Jasper p.2). The debate of whether or not humans are more "emotional" or "rational" is, to me, a reductive one, and I agree with Jasper that it serves us better to understand the duality, that humans are not either/or with regard to their behaviors and decisions. Additionally, I would actually take the point a step further and argue that the actual terms in themselves are limiting; cannot rationality be an emotion and cannot emotion be rational? Rather I believe that humans, especially when they're protesting, cannot be defined by binary terms such as are their goals "good" or "bad", are they behaving "alone" or "together" (because when is one truly "alone" or acting purely in isolation, yet how does one accurately define the concept of "togetherness"?), etc; the complex vortex whirling inside of us when we are moved to protest may as of now not yet have accurate words to describe and it should not be such a radical idea that opposing concepts can exist, rather comfortably, in the human psyche. Once we stop trying to put everything into categorical little boxes, we can start analyzing events more organically and with more respect to their unique circumstances.
  29. 29. Jasper: Don’t Forget about Emotions • Urges: urgent bodily needs (hunger, thirst, lust, addiction. • Reflex emotions: quick, automatic responses (anger, fear, joy, surprise, shock, disgust). • Moods: persistent energizing or de-energizing feelings without direct objects (melancholia, apathy, anxiety, contentment). • Affective commitments/loyalties: stable feelings about others (love/hate, trust/mistrust, respect/contempt). • Moral emotions: feelings of (dis)approval based on moral principles and intuitions (shame, pride, guilt, outrage, compassion). • Emotional energy: mood of excitement or enthusiasm encouraging further action (generated through interaction rituals).
  30. 30. Kirsi "Means become goals, and goals - once attained - become the means for further action." pg. 296 This reminded me of Tarrow's cycles of contention and the idea that social movements will become strengthened and have more people join when the "starting group" has a success. I know that recent social psychologists have thrown out rational choice theory to explain social movements, but Jasper's analysis of emotions seems like a very rational choice argument. How is this different from the rational choice theorists?
  31. 31. Clara Regarding the Jasper reading specifically: he writes that “the emotions that maintain energy and confidence will be undermined by too great a sense of accomplishment," explaining that the “combination of positive and negative emotions…through their contrast, help energize action”(291). I suppose this statement brings into question whether social movements are a means to an end (in which case, “a sense of accomplishment” is the end goal and the consequential decline in energy is the natural course of these movements) or if they are ends in and of themselves. This latter idea, that social movements can be their own end, is really interesting to me, as it helps answer my question of how certain physical spaces can become important (and even integral) to movements. As Milkman, Luce and Lewis discuss, the physical space of Zucotti park (which, the authors note, is home to a strong tradition of social movements) was important to the OWS movement (as was Tahrir Square in the Arab Spring). I also thought of Oranienplatz in Berlin and its role in social unrest and, particularly, the ongoing refugee rights movement there. Are these spaces important on a purely symbolic level? Are they just one factor in or consequence of a movement, or is there more that can be learned from them? Additionally, I thought it was interesting how readings generally approached social movements on an individual level (often appealing to emotions or internal validation as social catalysts). In the articles assigned from The Social Movements Reader, most authors took care to (briefly) describe the individuals engaged in these movements; there seemed to be a trend of young, educated adults involved in the core group of these movements. While this analytical approach is important, I think it’s also important to consider the activist networks that form (which most authors also discuss), within which the end (the goal of these networks) is activism in and of itself. “Activist” becomes an identity, the goal is less to achieve policy changes than to be heard, to express solidarity with other members of this activist community. To tie this into my point about spaces, could spaces important to social movements be important because they become the physical home for these ongoing activist networks? […] Perhaps what I’m really asking is, what can we learn about social movements by looking at the physical spaces they occupy and the particular activist networks that become rooted there?
  32. 32. Moral Shock “Triggers” of movement mobilization tend to induce what Jasper calls moral shock: they unsettle us into rethinking our folk sociology, our expectations and our ethical principles.
  33. 33. Shame  Pride Social movements deliberately seek to transform certain emotions into their “opposites” on the moral battery.
  34. 34. Next Week: Part II: CAPITALISM