What can we learn when we listen closely to, and engage in dialogue with social movement activists? This book addresses this question for a group of progressive activists in Hartford, Connecticut who do community, labor, feminist, gay and lesbian, peace, and anti-racist organizing.
What can we learn when we listen closely to, and engage in dialogue with social movement activists? "Social Movements and Activism" addresses this question for a group of progressive activists in Hartford, Connecticut who do community, labor, feminist, gay and lesbian, peace, and anti-racist organizing. Situated within the twenty-first century landscape of post-industrialism and neo-liberalism and drawing on oral histories, the book argues for a dialogic and integrative approach to social movement activism. The dialogue between scholar and activist captures the interpretive nature of activists' identity, the variable ways activists decide on strategies and goals, the external constraints on activism, and the creative ways activists manoeuvre around these constraints. This dialogic approach makes the book accessible and useful to students, scholars and activists alike. The integrative nature of the text refers to its theoretical approach. Rather than advancing a new theory of social movements, it uses existing approaches as a tool kit to examine the what, how, who, and why of social movement activism.
1. Scholars and Activists in Dialogue 2. Theory and Activism 3. The Context of Hartford Progressive Activism 4. What Activists Do: Developing Strategies, Conceptualizing Goals, Exploiting Opportunities 5. What Activists Do: Gathering Resources, Forming Organizations 6. What Makes Them Do It: Recruitment and Commitment to Social Movements 7. What Makes Them Tired: Activist Burnout And Managing an Activist Life 8. Who They Are: Collective Identity And Oppositional Consciousness 9. Rethinking Activists' Questions And Scholars' Answers