Social Movements: A summary of what works

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Social Movements: A summary of what works

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-03-07 07:04

From Peter Moss :

Social Movements: A summary of what works

I would like to urge people to read this long document and at
least try to understand that what is being presented is a recipe
for success. Yes one can argue the finer points but that is not
the point.

The biggest failing of gun owners is that they simply don't have a
clue of what they are fighting.

When a plan like this crouched in nice polite words id presented
read it. With a small understanding of propaganda it becomes far
more clear what techniques are being employed and what principle
are being exploited. ie large crowds react far better to
propaganda than small meetings. A point Hitler used to great
advantage. It's like mass hysteria or mob action.

Read a small portion each day and try to understand what is being
put across.

Some extracts.

Solidarity instead of free-riding

Many sociologists have argued that social movements are hampered
by the tendency for people to do a quick cost-benefit analysis of
their participation. The rational person will conclude the easiest
course is to become a free rider since they will obtain the
benefits of social action whether they participate or not.

Individual inducements

Prior contact with a movement member Research shows the strongest
inducement to activism is prior contact with a movement member.
For instance, new recruits to peace movements are typically people
who are already associated with members of peace groups.

Prior activism

People who have been previously involved in some form of
collective action in their past are more likely to be involved
collective action in the future. Having learned the role of
activist, its easier to adopt the role again. The longer one
spends in the role of activist, the more integral it becomes to
one´s identity.

Kindling in small groups

The basic building block of social movements is the small informal
group connected to a loose network. Sometimes this "micro-
mobilization context" is a group of friends, sometimes a group of
coworkers, sometimes a subgroup within a larger group like a
church or a union. A well-known example is the four Greensboro A&T
students who precipitated the 60´s black sit in movement after
"bull-sessions" in one another´s dorm rooms. Margaret Mead was
quite right: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only
thing that ever has."

Optimistic expectations

Any given individual is more likely to participate in a project if
he or she:
Expects a large number of people to participate
Expects his/her participation will contribute to success
Expects success if many people participate.

The relentless enthusiasm of a good organizer will inspire
enthusiasm and optimism in others, even in the worst

Government facilitation

Governments are not always on the other side. They will assist
SMOs pursuing objectives in synch with their own, sometimes
creating programs, conferences, and special funding to bolster the
membership and credibility of their favorite SMO. When fears of
public or corporate backlash stall progressive policy changes,
they will support advocacy groups as a means of building public
support. In Canada, the Non-smokers Rights Coalition received
millions from the Federal government to publicly lobby for laws
requiring cigarette packages carry large text warnings and
gruesome photos showing the damage caused by smoking. In effect,
the feds paid to be openly lobbied in the media, then responded
when the public began to see the need for government action.

Frames from the news

Most people acquire their information and orientation to the world
from the impersonal mass media. With it they acquire stock frames
and frame-making ideologies. What they come to see as their own
opinions for or against a social movement are actually news
constructed. Right wing ideology is both news constructed and
heavily promoted by the corporate owners of the mass media. It
assumes that we suffer from too much government, too many taxes
and too many controls of corporate enterprise Any ideology, once
adopted by the mass media, will almost certainly turn around and
infect the public that relies upon it for information. Only the
most vigilant can resist this kind of consistent framing, story
after story, day after day.
What have YOU done for YOUR rights today?
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