What is activism?
*Wikipedia defines activism as “intentional action to bring about social, political,
economic or environmental change.
*Thus activism requires an action/activity which is intended to create a change.
*Activism is usually based on a perceived injustice or some other social wrong.
How does activism work?
*Activism can include a very wide range of actions (aka “methods”) ranging from letter-
writing to boycotts, from parades to sit-ins. It can be completely passivist in
approach or based in violent uprisings.
*Methods also differ depending on the target audience. Some seek to change
government policies and laws, while others seek to change individual’s behaviour.
Lobbying and letter-writing may be appropriate to generate legal change, but will
be less persuasive with individuals. Media attention might be a more useful way to
gain the attention of a large # of individuals.
*Some methods which attempt to persuade individuals to change their attitude toward a
particular issue or behaviour may also be used to pressure institutions like
businesses or laws or governments to change. This has been true with the
environmental/conservation movement for example.
Feminism and activism
*Feminism is widely perceived as a form of activism.
*Feminism is actually comprised of a number of theories, issues and focal points, most
of which call for activist approaches.
*Feminism thus incorporates a wide variety of types of activism in attempting to achieve
First Wave forms of activism
Second Wave forms of activism