Textbook Notes (362,837)
Canada (158,073)
Sociology (167)
SOC1105 (5)
Chapter 3

SOC1105 Textbook Notes - Chapter 3

8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Ottawa
Liam Kilmurray

nd SOC1105 Chapter 3 Notes. Textbook: Social Movements, 2 Edition.Author: Suzanne Staggenborg. *This chapter is about Macro (large-scale), Meso (organizational), and Micro (Individual) level based questions regarding social movements and collective action. *Various issues to be covered are interrelated. Theorists attempt to connect these different levels of analysis in their explanations of social movements and collective action. Movement Emergence: Mobilization and Recruitment *Movements typically don't suddenly emerge, and new ones often linked to previous ones. *Mobilization: The process whereby a group that shares grievances or interests gains collective control over resources. *Recruitment: Part of the broader process of mobilization. -Both are ongoing processes rather than one-time events. Continual need to maintain control over resources. Influences on Mobilization *Factors involved: large-scale socioeconomic and political changes, opportunities and threats, critical events, pre-existing or emergent organizations, leaders, resources, frames. -Theorists point to importance of large-scale social changes in stimulating social movements. -Eg. Urbanization creates social problems (poor housing conditions). -Eg.American civil rights movement (decline of cotton as a cash crop), migration of many southern blacks to cities. *Two important factors: Resources controlled by a group, and extent of organization among members prior to movement mobilization. -Pre-existing communication network if individuals already share membership in some of the same organizations. *Leaders can mobilize movements even without pre-existing grievances. *Political process theorists: Political opportunities or threats lead to social movements. -People more likely to engage in collective action if chance of success is perceived as high. *Political opportunities not everything; framing activities of leaders important in diagnosing problems. -Collective action frames turn grievances into a drive for justice (emotional energy). -Framing issues in a way compatible to the culture, also potentially effective without political opportunities. -Eg.American suffrage movement. Found culturally resonant frames and resources > Political opportunities for support of women's suffrage. -Women's unique perspective (effective) VS Rights as citizens (ineffective). Individual Recruitment and Participation *Adherents: Those who believe in the cause and want to see movement goals achieved. *Constituents: Supporters who contribute resources to a movement. -There are many more adherents than constituents (Eg. Support for environmental measures). *Collective behavior theories: Importance of grievances, individual discontent. But not always the case or reason people become activists. *Rational Choice Theory: Focuses on costs and benefits of collective action for individuals. -Many latent groups have grievances, few mobilize because of cost for the individual. -Free Rider Problem: Rational individuals will want to benefit without investment, because collective action can result in collective good without their individual contribution. -Can be solved if they are offered selective incentives (benefits that are only for participants). -Also solved in small group situation, individual motivated to pay because their contribution makes a relatively big difference. -Otherwise, free riders, unless coerced into participation. -Material incentives, solidary incentives (come from associating with the group), purposeful incentives (sense of satisfaction from contributing to worthwhile cause). -Collective identity can act as a selective incentive. -people want to share an identity (environmentalist) achieved through participation. *Other theorists address free rider problem; recruitment also affected by organizational arrangements and structures, such as social networks. -Free rider problem less saliant for modern social movements; many are becoming professionalized (paid leaders who work full-time, attract conscience constituents over beneficiary constituents). -Eg. Environmental movement, many organizations with paid staff and members that send financial contributions rather than by actively participating. -With 'paper members', participation from large masses of people is less critical. -Low-risk commitments of conscience constituents, free rider problem not as important. *Contrast, there are more high-risk activism movements. -Eg. Civil rights, animal rights, anti-abortion, etc. high-risk activism. *Some, such as visible minorities, may have 'no exit' – they're identified and treated as group members for being a visible minority. They also may feel closely tied to the group engaged in collective action, more likely to participate. *Importance of local communities and friendship networks over isolated individuals (critiques of Rational Choice Theory). *Several types of structural factors that increase likelihood of activism. -Prior contact with a movement member: Individuals come to a meeting with friend, contact leads to further involvement. -Membership in organizations: Organizational memberships give people access to information and make them targets of movement recruitment efforts within organizations. -History of Prior Activism: Organizing skills transferable from one movement to another, subsequent activism way of retaining one's identity as an activist. -Biographical Availability: Individuals with responsibilities (children, demanding jobs) less likely. *Structural Availability: Explains recruitment of individuals from streets rather than through social networks. These people lacked commitments that would prevent/hinder participation. -Network ties to activists can draw individuals, but lack of competing ties can also free people to participate. Movement Maintenance, Growth, and Decline *Maintenance necessary after initial mobilization. Movements either grow in strength or decline. Commitment of participants + new supporters recruited. *Movement organizations important. *But movements are not stable and unified entities. Maintained by both formalized organizations, but also more informal networks. Shifting coalitions of actors. Social Movement Organizations *Important in most modern social movements. *Scholars identified key dimensions on which SMOs vary: extent of bureaucratization/formalization in the organization, and extent of centralization. -Bureaucratic/formalized: established procedures, developed division of labour, explicit criteria for membership, and rules governing subunits. -More informal SMOs: Fewer established procedures, rules, and membership requirements, less developed division of labour. -Centralized SMOs have 'a single centre of power', but decentralized SMOs, power is dispersed. -Although formalization and centralization tend to go together, possible to have decentralized+formal or centralized+informal. *These differences affect organizational maintenance, goals, and strategies. -Formalization leads to focus on organizational maintenance at expense of protest. -Poor people's movements, arguably better to focus on engagement in disruptive tactics. -Focusing on large-scale organizations squanders period of opportunity. -Eg. Great Depression, or turbulence of 1960s. -But, focusing on bureaucratization and centralization can be appropriate during slow period. -Eg. Centralized National Women's Party, 'doldrums' between passage of women's suffrage in 1920s and rebirth of women's movements in 1960s. -Abeyence can be kept with a centralized, 'elite-sustained' organizational structure. *SMOs main problem: How to encourage participation while avoiding internal conflict. -Leadership important. Interact with participants and offer frames, tactics, organizational vehicles that allow participants to construct a collective identity and participate in collective action at various levels. -Meaningful opportunity to contribute to decisions, goals, strategies = greater solidarity and commitment to the SMO. -Often conflicts over who has authority, and over which structures work. *Civil Rights, student, and women's movements: Tried to develop forms of 'participatory democracy' to closely involve activists. -At worst, degenerate into 'tyranny of structurelessness.' Unaccountable leaders and exclusive informal structures if structure is shunned. -At best, process helps build movements, develop participant's political skills, creates solidarity, development of new tactics. -Eg. United Farm Workers 1960s/1970s VS Better-Funded rival union, UFW succeeded. Greater 'strategic capacity.' *Factors that increase 'strategic capacity': -Create forums for regular, open, authoritative deliberation among leaders, for their access to information and authority to act on decisions. -Greater flexibility from multiple constituencies VS single source. -Holding leaders accountable to their constituents = better leaders. -Leadership teams (consist of insiders and outsiders) VS single leaders. -Use diverse leaders with diverse repertoires of collective action = more ideas. *Strategic campaigns crucial not just for goals, but also growth and maintenance. Movement Strategies and Campaigns *Movement activists have disposal of strategies/tactics within the repertoire familiar at the time. -Modern repertoire: demonstrations, public meetings, petitions, press statements. -Activists: 'symbols of personal affiliation', form 'specialized associations devoted to pursuit of a cause.' -Many movements: Mix of direct-action tactics and institutionalized tactics. -'Contentious performances' common. *Collective Campaign: 'an aggregate of collective events or activities that appear to be oriented toward some relatively specific goal or good, and that occur within some proximity in space and time.' -Usually a series of collective campaign in a movement. Not single events, often aimed at government officials/other authorities. *Campaign at one time may alter conditions for subsequent campaigns. -Dynamic interactions between opponents. -Eg. The women's movement. Developed vehicles for new strategies, such as participation in electoral politics in response to anti-feminist counter-movements. *Interactions with allies, countermovements, mass media, government officials affect various aspects: mobilization, strategies, outcomes. -Multi-organizational fields: In addition to SMOs, variety of types of organizations that oppose or support the movement. -Within and across movements: coalitions formed, compete, or conflict. -Non-movement adversaries, mediators, and audiences also engaged by movements. -Government authorities/other elites may facilitate or repress protest campaigns. -Strategies and tactics are adjusted based on these interactions. *Policing of Protest: State response to campaigns. Repressive, or tolerant, under different types of government, also depends on type of collective action. -Western democracies have many trends. 1960s: Escalated force. 1970s-1990s: Negotiated management.After 1990s: Strategic incapacitation. *Critical Events: Movement campaigns create, or result from, these events. -Focuses attention on particular issues, which create threats or opportunities. -Some events outside of movement control, others are orchestrated. -When not in control of occurrence of event, can still make use of event. Eg.Anti-nuclear power activists after 1979 nuclear accident. *During a campaign, more opportunities to mobilize inactive movement supporters + strengthen commitment of activists, more opportunities for leadership roles. Collective identities often go under expansion due to new actors. If movements cannot create campaigns anymore, difficult to maintain. -Eg. Civil rights movement. Peaks occurred with tactical innovations. 1950s: Boycotts, 1960s: Sit-ins, 1961: Freedom riders revived movement,After: community-wide protests in southern cities. Late 1960s: Decline, movement had difficulty devising campaigns to address issues of race and poverty. *Countermovement campaigns can generate new movement strategies, new rounds for collective action. Movements and countermovements often respond to each other. Success on one side, response from the other. -Abortion clinic opened in Toronto, 1983.Anti-abortion activists launched intensive campaign of daily protests.Abortion rights supporters responded by organizing demonstrations to protect the clinic. -Federal systems in U.S. and Canada provide numerous venues, such as the courts and legislatures. One side chooses these, other follows suit. *Emotions are central, just as organization and strategic planning are. -Connecte
More Less

Related notes for SOC1105

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.