Tag Archives: professionalism

Professional Activism and Social Change

By Meghan Kallman

About forty years ago, as neoliberal economic policies took hold, a change also occurred in the landscape of social movements. Though neoliberalism—initially a set of economic policies intended to jumpstart the US economy—is many things, we have internalized it socially. Translated, that means that we now primarily think about free markets, commodification, formal organizations, and individual people (rather than policy, for instance, or informal or collective organizing) as how social change is made (Brenner, Peck, and Theodore 2010; Harvey 2007; Jepperson and Meyer 1991; McAdam 1986). Somewhere along the line, and in parallel with the ideas that neoliberalism has fostered, we got the idea that formalized, professionalized social movement organizations were the most effective type of organizing. Continue reading

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