effectivemovements

effectivemovements - Wendy Zeng AMST 252 Robin D.G Kelley...

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Wendy Zeng AMST 252 Robin. D.G. Kelley Essay #1 9 October 2007 A Constant Movement “Social movements generate new knowledge, new theories, new questions. The most radical ideas often [grew] out of a concrete intellectual engagement with the problems of aggrieved populations confronting systems of oppression,” asserts Robin D.G. Kelley in his book Freedom Dreams. (Kelley 1) The heart of the success of these social movements lies within its lasting impact that transcends injustice and transforms generations leading society to move in the direction of the purpose of the movement. The most powerful of these movements reaches followers from diverse backgrounds for the cause captures their collective desires on such a deep level beyond anything physical. When the heart of the matter is something so fundamentally humanitarian, the movement tends to be effective in the way that it inspires growth. This growth can be defined as the increase in number of followers and as the development of other movements branching out from the original to better accommodate the present status. Simply the word “movement” implies that the process is an active one; the struggle for justice and equality is an ever-moving continuation that evolves with the current social issue. Since it is impossible for a social movement to be effective if it does not meet the needs of the oppressed, the direction of the movement is constantly modified and sometimes changes form to become more effective.
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Zeng 2 The United States’ claim to superpower was built on capitalism which promotes a free market economy. The pursuit of individual economic gain and the all-encompassing consumerism that played key roles in this free enterprise economy also contributed to the bleak inequality that plagues the minorities of the country. According to social Darwinism, in a society such as this, the natural competition makes it inevitable for a social hierarchy to exist between different groups of people—the sharpest example in this case, division by race. (Kaye 33) The prime issue with this theory is the belief that the racism upheld by the white ruling class is merely the result of “natural selection.” For the oppressed who have this belief instilled in them, the biggest obstacle with picturing a vision in overcoming the injustice of such racism is not external but internal—the enslavement of the mind. Under these mental constrictions, the groups at the abject levels of the hierarchy are trapped in an oppressive prison built with only ominous brick walls without a window to shed a light of hope of the possibilities outside the walls. In the midst of this darkness, communism became the stark ray of light that broke
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This note was uploaded on 10/01/2009 for the course AMST 252G taught by Professor Kelley during the Fall '08 term at USC.

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effectivemovements - Wendy Zeng AMST 252 Robin D.G Kelley...

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