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Chapter 18 Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change

Chapter 18 Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change

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Chapter 18 Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change Introduction Collective action is action that takes place in groups and diverges from the social norms of the situation. Collective Action: What Is It Good For? Crowd collective action takes place when members of a group are face to face; mass collective action is collective action in which close physical proximity is not necessary such as a letter writing campaign. According to convergence theory , collective action happens when people with similar ideas and tendencies gather in the same place. This theory does not explain the inconsistency of group action--why collective action sometimes happens under such circumstances and sometimes why it does not. According to contagion theory , collective action arises because of people's tendency to conform to the behavior of others. This theory downplays individual agency and does not explain the inconsistency of group action. Emergent norm theory emphasizes the influence of leaders in promoting particular norms that members of a group then follow. This theory doesn't explain why particular people become leaders or why some actions emerge as norms within a group and others don't. In order to explain who we are as individuals, we tend to talk about different groups of which we are a part. What makes each of us unique is the particular combination of groups with which we identify. A static identity is an aspect of your identity (such as race) that doesn't change and that determines at least one group to which you belong; a dynamic identity is an aspect of
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