Category Archives: Essay Dialogues

Informing Activists ~ Table of Contents

Welcome to the home page for the Informing Activists video project! Below you will find links for videos of social movement scholars (and social scientists) answering questions relevant for young activists.

Each page contains at least one video that we hope will help young activists make informed decisions about their engagements, a bio about the presenter, and some suggested readings if someone is interested in a deeper dive into the topic area.

The list is regularly curated, and so please check back regularly for updates!

The most recent additions to the collection include: 

Katrina Kimport- How do I get people involved in my movement  (1/25/18)

Kate Kenski- What ways are more or less effective for agreeing or disagreeing with others? (1/25/18)

Dana Moss- How do I support movements in other countries? (1/11/18)

To visit the original introduction to the series from the Mobilizing Ideas editors and the series curators, please click here.

We hope you find these to be helpful, and welcome suggestions about new videos. You can email us at thomasvmaher@purdue.edu. Good luck on making the change you envision!

Table of Contents

Do movements make a difference? 

In what ways do social movements make a difference? – Thomas Elliott

How/When do movements make a political difference? – Katrin Uba

How/When do movements affect culture? – Jenn Earl

When do movements shape public opinion? – Neal Caren

How does movement participation affect people’s lives? – Marco Giugni

How do movements influence elections? – Fabio Rojas

How do I support movements in other countries? – Dana Moss

How do I get (more/new/different) people involved?

Who Participates in Movements and Why? – Bert Klandermans and Ziad Munson

How do I get people involved in my movement  — Katrina Kimport

What can be done about activist burnout? – Sharon Nepstad

How can activists avoid burnout? – Hava Gordon

How do I build identity and solidarity in a movement? – Rachel Einwohner

How can I build coalitions and increase diversity? – Rich Wood

What should I focus on when I am trying to create change? 

How much does the political environment affect my cause? – David Meyer

What are the best tactics for my cause? – Catherine Corrigall-Brown

How do I use online tools to help my cause? – Lissa Soep

What are the best targets for my cause? – Tom Maher

How do I adapt my tactics to the political environment? – Holly McCammon

What should I think about when I am creating an organization?

When do I need an organization? – Jenn Earl

How do I work with existing organizations? – Grace Yukich

How can I build coalitions and increase diversity? – Rich Wood

What are some considerations for youth in organizations? – Sarah Gaby

How can I be more convincing? 

How do I talk about my cause? – David Snow

What ways are more or less effective for agreeing or disagreeing with others? – Kate Kenski

What do I need to know about the media environment? – Deana Rohlinger

How do I stay safe? 

What are the risks of activism and can I reduce those risks? – Heidi Reynolds-Stenson

How can I protect myself legally when I am active online? – Derek Bambauer

What else do I need to know? 

How might these topics apply to a specific campaign? – Elizabeth Armstrong

What can activists in the West learn from the Arab Spring? – Atef Said

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Informing Activists: How do I get people involved in my movement?

Katrina Kimport

Introduction 

 

How do I get people involved in my movement? 

 

Recommended Readings

Classic
Luker, Kristin. 1984. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Vol. 3. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Joffe, Carole E., Tracy A. Weitz, and Chris L. Stacey. 2004. “Uneasy allies: pro‐choice physicians, feminist health activists and the struggle for abortion rights.” Sociology of health & illness 26.6: 775-796.

Review
Luna, Zakiya, and Kristin Luker. 2013. “Reproductive Justice” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9:1:327-352

Contemporary:
Kimport, Katrina. 2016. “Divergent Successes: What the Abortion Rights Movement Can Learn from Marriage Equality’s Success.” Perspectives on sexual and reproductive health 48.4: 221-227.

Youth Participatory Politics Network- How can we make [political participation] easy and engaging?

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Informing Activists: What ways are more or less effective for agreeing or disagreeing with others?

Kate Kenski

Introduction

 

What ways are more or less effective for agreeing or disagreeing with others?

 

Websites referenced in this video: 

https://implicit.harvard.edu

http://politecho.org/

Readings on Effective Messaging

Classic:
O’Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. “The impact of social media on children, adolescents, and families.” Pediatrics 127.4 (2011): 800-804.

Review:
Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, and Kate Kenski. 2014. “Political Communication: Then, Now, and Beyond.” Oxford Handbook of Political Communication. Online.

Palfrey, J., Gasser, U., & Boyd D. Response to FCC Notice of Inquiry 09-94: “Empowering Parents and Protecting Children in an Evolving Media Landscape.” Cambridge, MA: Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University; 2010. Available here

Contemporary:
Kenski, K., Coe, K., & Rains, S. A. (2017, online first). Perceptions of uncivil discourse online: An examination of types and predictors. Communication Research. DOI: 10.1177/0093650217699933

Earl, Jennifer, and R. Kelly Garrett. Forthcoming. “The New Information Frontier: Toward a More Nuanced View of Social Movement Communication.” Forthcoming in Social Movement Studies. Available online first here

 

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Is There a New Women’s Movement?

The day following the Inauguration of Donald Trump, an estimated 500,000 activists descended upon Washington D.C. to protest in opposition to the values of his administration. Similar marches were held in cities worldwide. There was controversy leading up to the event.  Women of color challenged the organization committee for lacking diversity and called for more intersectionality. Some white women resented the challenge and chose to stay home or threatened to do so.  The Women’s March was fraught with a long-standing issue within American feminist movement, how to unify across differences. The concerns of the activists were broad including: immigration reform, Black Lives Matter, anti-Muslim discrimination, reproductive rights, and climate change. What do we make of this historic event? Does this moment mark the beginning of a new women’s movement? If so, what are the issues of the new movement? Who is included? Excluded? What do we make of all those who participated? Is this movement intersectional? If so, how are the activists putting an intersectional women’s agenda into practice?

Special thanks to Guest Editor Daisy Reyes, who curated this exciting dialogue.

Thanks also to our wonderful group of contributors.

Michael T. Heaney, University of Michigan (essay)
Nancy Whittier, Smith College (essay)
Jo Reger, Oakland University (essay)

Editors in Chief,
Grace Yukich, David Ortiz, Rory McVeigh, Guillermo Trejo

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Is the Women’s Movement New Again?

By Jo Reger

The Women’s Marches of 2017 and the anniversary marches of 2018 once again bring us to the question: Is the U.S. women’s movement new again, having gone through a decline, death and finally rebirth? Does this new mobilization mean the movement is new? This is not a new question. Throughout the history of the movement, pundits have continually recast feminism as “new,” as in another wave of activism (this time maybe the fourth or fifth wave but who is counting?) or as a movement born fresh and new, independent of its former self.  Media observer Jennifer Pozner coined the term “False Feminist Death Syndrome,” in response to the constant reports of feminism’s death. In the same vein, feminist scholar Mary Hawkesworth noted feminism’s reoccurring obituary, observing it was meant to annihilate feminism’s challenge to the status quo. Hawkesworth and Pozner encourage us to question the question – in other words, under what circumstances is a long-lived movement seen as new? Continue reading

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Activism against Sexual Violence is Central to a New Women’s Movement: Resistance to Trump, Campus Sexual Assault, and #metoo

By Nancy Whittier

Sexual violence and harassment have been central issues in almost every era of women’s organizing and they are central to a contemporary women’s movement that both builds on and differs from earlier activism. Since 2010, a new generation of activists has targeted sexual violence in new ways. Slutwalks, a theatrical form of protest against the idea that women provoke rape by their dress, brought a new spin to long-standing “Take Back the Night” marches against violence against women. The wave of activism grew as college students began speaking out about assault on campus and gained a broad platform through social media. Students protested institutional failures to follow procedures for addressing sexual assault and used symbolic tactics to highlight the issue. For example, in 2014/15, Columbia student Emma Sulkowicz carried her dorm room mattress everywhere as a protest against Columbia’s inaction after she reported sexual assault. “Carry That Weight,” her project title, became the name for an emerging activist group. Another, “No Red Tape,” led to a cross-campus day of action in which activists attached pieces of red tape to clothes or campus statues. Continue reading

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The New Wave of the Women’s Movement in the United States

By Michael T. Heaney

The facts about the mobilization of women’s movement in the United States over the past 14 months are fairly well established.  A new organization calling itself the “Women’s March” formed shortly after the 2016 presidential election.  It coordinated massive rallies, consisting mostly of liberal women and their allies, in Washington, DC and around the world.  These rallies reached across diverse interests and were among the largest internationally coordinated demonstrations in history.  The Women’s March has retained its momentum over the past year, staging a national convention in Detroit in October 2017, and then reprising its post-inauguration performance this past weekend with rallies in hundreds of cities under the slogan “power to the polls”.  On the heels of the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund arose to address widespread sexual harassment and assault.  These efforts have spurred the national conversation on the inappropriate treatment of women in the workplace.  Millions of people have joined Pantsuit Nation and other internet discussion forums that discuss gender and politics.  Indeed, the women’s movement has been a palpable force in American politics and society since the 2016 election. Continue reading

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