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Topic 9: Politics and social movements Politics and social movement.

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Adam Green

Topic 9 – Politics and Social Movements (Week 9 lecture + NS Chp 18 + SIQ Chp 20-22) Outline: 1. Revolutions; 2. Social movements; 3. War from sociological perspective;  Revolutions Political Revolution & Social Revolution -- Distinguish between the two. -- Revolutions must include the overthrown of the current ruling government; -- Social revolution includes a political revolution; -- e.g. 1789 French Revolution is an example of a social revolution  Social movement: -- Difference: social movements do not overthrow the current ruling government. -- Rebellion is not a revolution; Two kinds of social movements: 1. State-centered, citizenship movements; 2. Cultural movements; 1. State-centered, citizenship movement. -- Most consequential in changing major political/economic institutions, changing laws; -- e.g. civil rights movement; peace movement; labor movement; abortion rights movements; -- e.g. The United Auto Workers; Martin Luther King & The Black civil rights movements; -- e.g. Rosie “the Riveter”; Suffrage Movements; “Stonewall”; PETA; LGBT Rights; -- Reason why it’s called a state-centered movement: object of change is for the most part at the state level; not overthrow the existing government, but reform and change it. -- What unites all of them are grievances on the state level.. not to overthrow, but to reform. 2. Cultural movement -- Transformation on the level of the society, -- Not seeking a change in policy on the level of a state, but change in ideas and views of the people and the society; -- e.g. Pro-Anorexia Movement; Lilith Music Fair; -- Generally state-centered movement and cultural movement can be separate, but not always mutual exclusive.  Social Movements from sociological perspective: -- One of the central task: try to explain why, how, when do these movements occur. -- e.g. Why do women movements occur in some places, but not others? Why in some period of time, but not others? -- Sociologists: grievances by themselves do not explain why, how when social movement occur.  4 Major Theories 1. Social psychological theory 2. Resource Mobilization theory 3. Cultural theory 4. Political Process theory 1. Social Psychological theory: -- Popular in 1950s -- Emotional Instability: People involve in social movements because they are mentally unbalanced; they have psychological problems; they can’t deal with the problem through right legal way; -- Madness of people rather than the madness of society people live in. -- Deprivation: those who were the most deprived thought they could not bear any more; -- Not the objective deprivation but rather the relative deprivation (distinguish between conditions across people); e.g. if everyone was poor, then people would not feel that discontent and unjust because poverty is shared by all; if poverty is only among some people and others were rich, sense of relative deprivation motivates people to engage in movements; 2. Resource Mobilization Theory -- Emerges around 1980s -- Grievances are necessary, but not sufficient; More important are the available resources for people to make the change; -- Rationale: grievances exists everywhere in the world. People around the world are generally unhappy; what distinguishes the group in the movement with the group that are not is the RESOURCES THEY HAVE; -- Grievances are general and the same, but RESOURCES make the difference. What do resources mean?? 4 kinds of resources: 1. Access to networks of influence and power; e.g. politicians; political party; 2. Access to social organizations with influence and power; 3. Access to financial resources; 4. Legislative support -- support from state elites; Example: women’s movements 1960s/70s -- Our generations are called the post-feminist: take all the benefits from the women’s movements without realizing the back upon which these benefits are build; we should see the effort that had been done and the effort needs to make Is there a link between WHEN the movement occur and WHAT resources do they have? -- The combination of grievances and the available resources gave necessary and sufficient conditions for the movements to occur -- Grievances: discrimination in the work force and higher education; expectation to take care of both home and work; -- Resources: 1. White middle-class women gained direct access to the money and higer education 2. Some women from the New-Left movement were politicized and tapped into activist networks 3. Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 3. Cultural theories -- Focus on ideological and cultural factors as primary factors; Identity; -- Ideologies and culture have to be taken seriously, cannot be considered broadly as a resources (that’s what RMT does); -- How is it that people in the movements become politicized? Example: Modern Lesbian Movements (Demonstration Effect) -- The Lesbian Movements only took off in 1969 after enough lesbians and gay people have been exposed to other civil rights movements in other culture (African American Civil Rights Movements) -- Before 1960, gays and lesbians believe they are sick and deviant, especially the gays and lesbians that are middle-high class and who are well-educated; -- Dr Arthur Guy Mathews: cues for homosexuals – teaching hairstyles and make ups (1950s); -- The first gay/lesbian movement emerge in 1950s “Mattachine Society” -- Mattachine Society adopts the disease model – ask for social tolerance and forgiveness -- This challenges the resource theory because this movement is made up by relatively fortunate and well-educated people (abundant resources), but the modern gay/lesbian movements did not emerge until 20 years later; -- Cultural Theorists argue that, gay/lesbian movements cannot succeed until gay/lesbian people reconceive themselves not as being sick, but equal people worthy of equal rights; -- They need to be politicized, and have an identity; -- After the examples of other civil rights movements (demonstration effect), they realize that they need to frame the problem; Framing -- Movement Frame: e.g. women rights movement: - The frame came when women are sufficiently politicized and develop their political consciousness. - They develop a movement frame that illustrates the problem of women as a problem of the society; e.g. gay/lesbian: - They have to develop a frame , not psychological illness but as a marginalized group. -- Frame Alignment: - Not all same group share the same problem. - Needs to go through the Process of frame alignment so that the member of the group have shared-ideas of problem, shared goals; -- Frame Transformation: e.g. Modern gay/lesbian rejects the old sickness model that asks for tolerance. 4. Political Process Theory -- Takes a structural perspective (political opportunity structural) -- 4 factors that movement will succeed (): 1. Increasing access to political participation: - State opponents are less fortified against challengers 2. Unstable Alignment: - Unstable alignments between parties and constituencies 3. Influential allies 4. Divided Elites - When elites (key individuals) are not able to hold a coherent front;  Compare and Contrast Cultural theorists criticize Political Process Theory: Structural bias: -- Political Process theories seem to forget that, opportunities are not opportunities unless they recognize them as such. Therefore, activists have to FRAME the opportunities to be opportunities, and use
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