Collective Action and Social Movements
Collective Action and Social Movements Chapter Outline The Study of Collective Action and Social Movements Nonroutine Collective Action Social Movements Framing Discontent: A Symbolic Interactionist Approach The Future of Social Movemetns Collective Action When people act in unison to bring about or resist social, political, and economic change. Routine collective actions follow established patterns of behavior in existing social structures. Nonroutine collective actions take place when usual conventions cease to guide social action and people bypass established structures. Social Movements Enduring collective attempts to change part or all of the social order by means of rioting, petitioning, striking, demonstrating, and establishing lobbies, unions, and political parties. Breakdown Theory: Functional Analysis Three Factors: A group of people must be economically deprived or socially rootless. Their norms must be strained or disrupted. They must lose the capacity to act rationally by getting caught up in the madness of crowds. Deprivation, Crowds, and the Breakdown of Norms Most pre-1970 sociologists would have said lynchings were caused by: Economic deprivation experienced by impoverished and marginal members of the community. The inherent irrationality of crowd behavior. The serious violation of norms. Deprivation and Poverty Absolute deprivation is a condition of extreme poverty. Relative deprivation is an intolerable gap between the social rewards people feel they deserve and the social rewards they actually receive. Polling Question Civil disobedience is better to use than militant activity for groups to get their point across for social change. a. b. c. d. Strongly agree Agree somewhat Unsure Disagree somewhat Assessing Breakdown Theory: Lynchings Deprivation Research shows no association between fluctuations in economic well-being and lynchings that took place between the 1880s and the 1930s. Assessing Breakdown Theory: Lynchings Contagion is the process by which extreme passions supposedly spread rapidly through a crowd like a contagious disease. Many lynchings were neither spontaneous or unorganized. Assessing Breakdown Theory: Lynchings Strain refers to breakdowns in traditional norms that precede collective action. Lynching was a means by which black farm workers were kept tied to the southern cotton industry after the abolition of slavery threatened to disrupt the industry’s traditional, captive labor supply. Frequency of Lynching, United States, 1882–1935 Social Disorganization Example: Prison riots – – – – Government officials make demands of administrators without providing resources. Corrections staff oppose the reforms. Administrators take actions that inmates perceive as unjust. Inmates decide rioting will draw attention to the unjust conditions. Rumors Claims about the world that are not supported by authenticated information. They are a form of communication that takes place when people try to construct a meaningful interpretation of an ambiguous situation. While rumor transmission is a form of collective action, it typically intensifies just before and during riots. The Social Determinants of Rumors Polling Question Have you ever participated in an organized protest? a. b. Yes No Solidarity Theory: Conflict Analysis Holds that social movements are social organizations that emerge when potential members: mobilize resources take advantage of new political opportunities avoid high levels of social control by authorities. Resource Mobilization Refers to the process by which social movements crystallize due to increasing organizational, material, and other resources of movement members. Political Opportunities Political opportunities for collective action and social movement growth occur during election campaigns, when influential allies offer insurgents support, when ruling political alignments become unstable, and when elite groups become divided and conflict with one another. Social Control Refers to the means by which authorities seek to contain collective action, including co-optation, concessions, and coercion. Union Density The number of union members in a given location and time as a percentage of nonfarm workers. It measures the organizational power of unions. Strikes and Resource Mobilization The industrial working class has been weakened by globalization and employer hostility to unions Many American employers began to contest unionization elections legally, running anti-union campaigns Decline in organizational resources available to workers matched an increase in anti-union resources mobilized by employers Strikes and Resource Mobilization, cont. Social organization usually facilitates collective action and less social organization means less protests Strikes have been more frequent during economic booms and less frequent during economic busts Frequency of Strikes with 1000+ Workers Strikes and Political Opportunities Government action has limited opportunities for union growth Even in good times, workers avoid striking because the government has so weakened the opportunity, they are unable to use the strike as a means of improving their wages and benefits Unemployment and Frequency of Big Strikes, 1948–2004 Frame Alignment The process by which social-movement leaders make their activities, ideas, and goals congruent with the interests, beliefs, and values of potential new recruits to their movement - or fail to do so. Encouraging Frame Alignment Social-movement leaders reach out to organizations that contain people who are sympathetic to the cause. 2. Movement activists stress popular values that have not been prominent in the thinking of potential recruits. 3. Social movements can stretch their objectives to win recruits who aren’t initially sympathetic to their aims. 1. How Social Factors Influence Collective Action and Social Movements INSERT CONCEPT SUMMARY 14.1 HERE (PG. 353) New Social Movements New movements do not promote the rights of specific groups but of humanity as a whole, for peace, security, and a clean environment Attract disproportionately large number of highly educated, relatively well-to-do people from the social, educational, and cultural fields Increased the scope of protest beyond the national level to global efforts 1. Forms of collective action that are usually nonviolent and follow established patterns of behavior in bureaucratic social structures are called: a. social movements b. routine c. petition drives d. lobby formation e. party formation Answer: b Forms of collective action that are usually nonviolent and follow established patterns of behavior in bureaucratic social structures are called routine. 2. According to breakdown theory, collective action and social movements result from: a. b. c. d. e. economic deprivation the irrationality of crowd behavior instigation on the part of political leaders all of these choices economic deprivation and the irrationality of crowd behavior Answer: e According to breakdown theory, collective action and social movements result from economic deprivation and the irrationality of crowd behavior. 3. What flaws have sociologists uncovered in breakdown theory? a. b. c. d. Elected leaders generally do not play a part in mob actions. Levels of deprivation are not commonly associated with the frequency or intensity of outbursts of collective action. Even nonroutine collective action is usually structured. b. and c. only Answer: d Sociologists uncovered the following flaws in breakdown theory: Levels of deprivation are not commonly associated with the frequency or intensity of outbursts of collective action. Even nonroutine collective action is usually structured. 4. According to solidarity theory, which of the following factors is not among those that influence collective action and the emergence of social movements? a. b. c. d. social breakdown resource mobilization political opportunity social control Answer: a According to solidarity theory, social breakdown is not among the factors that influence collective action and the emergence of social movements. 5. Frame alignment is the process by which individual interests, beliefs, and values either become congruent with the activities, ideas, and goals of the movement or fail to do so. a. b. True False Answer: a Frame alignment is the process by which individual interests, beliefs, and values either become congruent with the activities, ideas, and goals of the movement or fail to do so. 6. Examples of old and new social movements are, respectively: a. the labor movement and peasant movements b. peasant movements and the environmental movement c. the women’s movement and the environmental movement d. the environmental movement and the women’s movement Answer: b Examples of old and new social movements are, respectively peasant movements and the environmental movement.