Category Archives: Informing Activists

Informing Activists: When do movements shape public opinion?

Neal Caren

When do movements shape public opinion?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

Burstein, Paul. 1998. “Bringing the public back in: should sociologists consider the impact of public opinion on public policy?.” Social forces 77(1):27-62.

Review

Amenta, Edwin, Neal Caren, Elizabeth Chiarello, and Yang Su. 2010. “The political consequences of social movements.” Annual Review of Sociology 36:287-307.

Contemporary

Andrews, Kenneth T., Kraig Beyerlein, and Tuneka Tucker Farnum. 2015. “The Legitimacy of Protest: Explaining White Southerners’ Attitudes Toward the Civil Rights Movement.” Social Forces.

Agnone, Jon. 2007. “Amplifying public opinion: The policy impact of the US environmental movement.” Social Forces 85(4):1593-1620.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: How does movement participation affect people’s lives?

Marco Giugni

How does movement participation affect people’s lives?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

McAdam, Doug. 1989. “The biographical consequences of activism.” American sociological review 54(5):744-760.

Review

Giugni, M. 2008. “Political, Biographical, and Cultural Consequences of Social Movements.” Sociology Compass 2:1582–1600

Contemporary

Corrigall-Brown, Catherine. 2012. “From the balconies to the barricades, and back? Trajectories of participation in contentious politics.” Journal of Civil Society 8(1):17-38.

For more research on the outcomes of social movements, check out this searchable, sortable database of outcomes research.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: Who participates in movements and why?

Participation is a big topic, so we’ve asked two of the top scholars studying participation in social movements to translate their work into advice for activists.

Bert Klandermans

An Overview of Participation

Ziad Munson

Getting People to Participate

Recommended Readings:

Classic

Klandermans, Bert, and Dirk Oegema. 1987. “Potentials, networks, motivations, and barriers: Steps towards participation in social movements.” American sociological review, 52(4):519-531.

Review

Klandermans, Bert.2004. “The demand and supply of participation: Social-psychological correlates of participation in social movements.” Pp. 360-379 in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, edited by D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule and H. Kriesi. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Contemporary

Shultziner, Doron. 2013. The Social-Psychological Origins of the Montgomery Bus Boycott: Social Interaction and Humiliation in the Emergence of Social Movements. Mobilization: An International Quarterly: 18(2):117-142.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: What can be done about activist burnout?

Sharon Nepstad

What can be done about activist burnout?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

Nepstad, Sharon Erickson. 2004. “Persistent resistance: Commitment and community in the Plowshares movement.” Social Problems 51(1):43-60.

Review

Bunnage, Leslie A. 2014. “Social movement engagement over the long haul: Understanding activist retention.” Sociology Compass 8(4):433-445.

Contemporary

Corrigall-Brown, Catherine. 2011. Patterns of protest: Trajectories of participation in social movements. Stanford University Press, 2011.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: How do I build identity and solidarity in a movement?

Rachel Einwohner

How do I build identity and solidarity in a movement?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

Melucci, A. 1988. Getting involved: Identity and mobilization in social movements. International Social Movement Research 1:329-348.

Review

Polletta, F., & Jasper, J. M. 2001. Collective identity and social movements. Annual review of Sociology 27:283-305.

Contemporary

Ghaziani, A. (2011). Post-gay collective identity construction. Social Problems 58(1):99-125.

Works Mentioned

Taylor, V., Whittier, N., & Morris, A. D. 1992. Collective identity in social movement communities: Lesbian feminist mobilization. Pp. 349-365 in Social perspectives in lesbian and gay studies edited by P. M. Nardi and B. E. Schneider. New York: Routledge.

Weldon, S. L. 2006. Inclusion, solidarity, and social movements: The global movement against gender violence. Perspectives on Politics 4(1):55-74.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: How much does the political environment affect my cause?

David Meyer

How much does the political environment affect my cause?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

Kitschelt, Herbert P. 1986. “Political Opportunity Structures and Political Protest: Anti-Nuclear Movements in Four Democracies.” British Journal of Political Science 16(1):57-85.

Review

Meyer, David S. and Debra C. Minkoff. 2004. “Conceptualizing Political Opportunity.” Social Forces 82(4):1457-92.

Contemporary

Chan, Kin-man and Yan Zhou. 2014. “Political Opportunity and the Anti-Dam Movement in China: A Case Study of Nu River.” Pp. 311-30 in Social Issues in China, Vol. 1, International Perspectives on Social Policy, Administration, and Practice, edited by Z. Hao and S. Chen: Springer New York.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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Informing Activists: What are the best tactics for my cause?

Catherine Corrigall-Brown

What are the best tactics for my cause?

Recommended Readings:

Classic

McAdam, Doug. 1983. “Tactical Innovation and the Pace of Insurgency.” American Sociological Review 48(6):735-54.

Review

Taylor, Verta and Nella Van Dyke. 2004. “”Get up, Stand Up”: Tactical Repertoires of Social Movements.” Pp. 262-93 in The Blackwell Companion to Social Movements, edited by D. A. Snow, S. A. Soule and H. Kriesi. Oxford: Blackwell Publisher.

Contemporary

Blee, K. 2013. “How Options Disappear: Causality and Emergence in Grassroots Activist Groups”. American Journal of Sociology 119(3):655-681.


We would like to thank the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for their support of the Youth Activism Project through the Youth and Participatory Politics Research Network.

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