Tag Archives: cultural change

Who SHOULD be an activist? on Paula Deen & health advocacy

A few days ago, celebrity chef, mini-empire owner, and Smithfield ham spokeswoman Paula Deen simultaneously announced on the Today show on NBC that a) she’s had Type 2 diabetes for the last three years and b) she is promoting Victoza, a diabetes drug from Norvo Nordick, which costs about $500 a month.  My first reaction to the news was: umm, surprise?  Of course she has diabetes. What do you expect from someone involved for so long and to such a degree with such “yummy” food, like her infamous idea to use Krispy Kreme doughnuts as a hamburger ‘bun.’ Continue reading

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The Outcomes of the Occupy Movement: Which Lessons Can We Draw from the Social Movement Literature?

By Marco Giugni

According to Time magazine, which devoted the Man of the Year cover to The Protester, 2011 was a year of protest movements and collective mobilizations. Of course, the so-called Arab Spring has much to do with this choice, but other movements as well have flourished around the World. The Occupy Movement is surely one of them, along with the Indignados in Spain as well as in other countries. Now, at the dawn of a new year, I think that two main questions need to be addressed: Firstly, will the movement last? And secondly, what are its outcomes? Other people have addressed the first question. Here I deal with the second one. Continue reading

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The new conservative political opportunity in Canada and the Office of Religious Freedom

In a Dec 27th post (“Has the abortion issue been reopened in Canada and what does this mean for social movements?”), I wrote about a push on the part of some Canadian conservatives to reopen the issue of abortion – an issue that has otherwise lain fairly dormant. I suggested that with a Conservative majority government, a new political opportunity has opened for Conservative issues in Canada.  Not surprisingly, Lawrence Martin titled his Dec 27th Globe and Mail article “A banner year for the new conservative agenda” where he writes, “For core conservatives, those of the doctrinaire variety, nothing can compare to the success of the year now passing. In 2011, Canada took its sharpest turn right in its history.” Continue reading

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Cultural Outcomes of the Occupy Movement

By William Gamson

I must begin by acknowledging the extent to which the occupy movement has occupied my own life in the last several months, knowing no boundaries between work life and social, political, and personal life.  In my worklife, I was teaching a graduate seminar on social movements (“The Quest for Social Justice”) in which each participant chooses a case to study and to which they apply the various course readings. Two of the students chose to study the Occupy Movement and, in particular, its Occupy Boston branch; a third student took the highly similar Israeli Summer tent city movement. Continue reading

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The Stunning Success of Occupy Wall Street

By Marc Dixon

“I AM NOT YOUR ATM,” “No Bonuses for Big Banks,” and “Wall Street: Never Again” were among the placards carried by the thousands of protesters participating in what was dubbed as the biggest anti-Wall Street demonstration in decades. It was the spring of 2010. Richard Trumka, the President of the AFL-CIO, the rally’s lead sponsor, said he wanted to force a “which-side-are-you-on” movement for politicians when it came to Wall Street Reform. An impressive showing for sure, it still lacked much political punch. Later that year in the run-up to the midterm elections, progressive organizations put 175,000 people on the Washington Mall to call for jobs and for more accountability from politicians. Labor, civil rights, and numerous other groups made impassioned claim after impassioned claim. Few listened. The rally paled in comparison to the attention surrounding the novel protest group on the right, the Tea Party, or even the Daily Show’s commercialized “Rally to Restore Sanity” a few weeks later. Continue reading

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