Chapter 21 - Chapter 21-Collective Action and Social...

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Chapter 21—Collective Action and Social Movements People sometimes lynch, riot, and engage in other forms of nonroutine group action to correct perceived injustices. Such events are rare, short-lived, spontaneous, and often violent. They subvert established institutions and practices. Nevertheless, most nonroutine collective action requires social organization, and people who take part in collective action often act in a calculated way. Collective action can result in the creation of one or more formal organizations or bureaucracies to direct and further the aims of its members. The institutionalization of protest signifies the establishment of a social movement. People are more inclined to rebel against existing conditions when strong social ties bind them to many other people feel similarly wronged, when they have time, money, and other resources needed to protest, and when political structures and processes give them opportunities to express discontent. For social movements to grow, members must make the activities, goals, and ideology of the movement consistent with the interests, beliefs, and values of potential recruits. The history of social movements is a struggle for the acquisition of constantly broadening citizenship rights—and opposition to those struggles. How to Spark a Riot Personal Anecdote The Study of Collective Action and Social Movements Collective action: occurs when people act in unison to bring about or resist social, political, and economic change. Some collective actions are routine. Others are nonroutine. Routine collective actions are typically nonviolent and follow established patterns of behavior in existing types of social structures. Nonroutine collective actions take place when usual conventions cease to guide social action and people transcend, bypass, or subvert established institutional patterns and social structures. Social Movement: an enduring collective attempt to change part or all of the social order by means of rioting, petitioning, striking, demonstrating, and establishing lobbies, unions, and political parties
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Nonroutine Collective Action: The Lynch Mob The Lynching of Claude Neal Breakdown theory and Functionalism Until about 1970, most sociologists believed that at least one of three conditions must be met for nonroutine collective action, such as Claude Neal’s lynching, to emerge. First, a group of people must be economically deprived or socially rootless. Second, their norms must be strained or disrupted. Third, they must lose their capacity to act rationally by getting caught up in the supposedly inherit madness of crowds. Breakdown Theory: Charles Tilly said that social movements emerge when traditional norms and patterns of social organization are disrupted. Deprivation, Crowds, and the Breakdown of Norms
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This note was uploaded on 05/31/2008 for the course SOCIOLOGY 001 taught by Professor Lovaglia during the Fall '07 term at University of Iowa.

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Chapter 21 - Chapter 21-Collective Action and Social...

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