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Archive for the ‘social movements’ Category

student walkouts against gun violence: notes and commentary

I have been asked by a few news sources on my views about today’s student walkouts, which are protests in favor of stricter gun control legislation. In no particular order:

  1. There is a long tradition of student protest, which includes walk outs by K-12 students. These include various student protests during the Civil Rights era, walk outs for other issues like immigration, and walk outs to protest school administrators and teachers (e.g., see Grant’s history of Hamilton High School).
  2. By themselves, walkouts will not directly lead to change unless they are connected to a larger political strategy.
  3. If this turns out to be an effective tactic, it will not be enough by itself. It will likely be part of a larger serious of contentious events around this issue.
  4. Gun control is a highly constrained space in American policy. Voters know what they like, elected officials know what they want. There isn’t a lot of wiggle room for movements.
  5. It would be interesting to see which schools issued statements for or against a protest and what correlates with that (e.g., Democratic district, district SES, etc.)
  6. My bet is that the biggest effect of these protests will be on students themselves. As suggested by some social movement research, participation acculturates people in new ways.

Add your own comments and predictions below.

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Written by fabiorojas

March 15, 2018 at 1:01 am

party in the street: huffington post coverage

protest foto

The protests against the Iraq War were some of the largest in American history. What happened? Why did they collapse? The Huffington Post ran an article on this topic and spoke to my friend and co-author Michael Heaney and myself. A few clips:

One explanation is that the anti-war push of 2003-2007 was successful — not in ending the war, but in knocking out the political party that started it.

The anti-war movement was not purely an anti-war movement, as Indiana University professor Fabio Rojas pointed out. He described the anti-war protest movement as “two groups coming together”: the core peace movement and the larger group of people who were registered Democrats and opposed to the Iraq war and then-Republican President George W. Bush, in general. “Once the Democrats win the White House,” he said, “the two groups start moving apart.”

Rojas studied the protest movement and its decline with University of Michigan political science professor Michael Heaney. After attending dozens of protests where they conducted more than 10,000 surveys of anti-war protest participants over the course of a decade, the two professors wrote a book, Party in the Street: The Antiwar Movement and the Democratic Party After 9/11, to explain it.

Check it out!

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street / Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome! 

Written by fabiorojas

March 7, 2018 at 2:40 pm

after charlottesville: the conversation continues

Written by fabiorojas

September 1, 2017 at 4:33 pm

party in the street: theory is put to the test

The main argument of Party in the Street is that the nature of partisanship affects the level of protest. If your movement thinks it is part of/opposed to a party, then protest will track who is in power (e.g., if your side wins an election, you mellow out). If the movement rejects the party system, then mobilization will be independent of election outcomes.

Well, we have a new data point. The Trump administration has declared a buildup of troops in Afghanistan. The party in power is Republican and the antiwar movement is tied to the Democratic party. The prediction: we should see an increase in antiwar protest.

Now, there is a mediating factor. The Afghanistan war has been the more popular part of the War on Terror. While hard core antiwar groups opposed interventions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the public (and the Democratic party) has been more supportive of armed intervention in Afghanistan. This suggests an increase relative to the baseline of almost no protest (which we’ve seen since about 2010), we should a modest increase. Definitely not 2003 levels, but we should see more if the build up continues.

Am I right? Tell me what you think.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street / Read Contexts Magazine– It’s Awesome! 

Written by fabiorojas

August 23, 2017 at 12:01 am

catholicism and black lives matter

More from the special issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies – Kevin C. Winstead provides a fascinating ethnography of how religion and social movements come together in Black Lives Matter:

This ethnographic study examines how Black Catholics identify with and respond to the Black Lives Matter movement. The study follows several national Black Catholic gatherings since the death of Mike Brown. Using an adaptation of Scott Hunt, Robert D. Benford, and David Snow’s social movement frame analysis, I explore how Black Catholics define and construct the ongoing political issues within the Black Lives Matter movement. I discuss the conditions which contribute to Black Catholic’s participation, or lack thereof, in this social movement through the processes of diagnostic framing, prognostic framing, and motivational framing. I position the larger Black Catholic belief system within frame analysis, examine the relevance of the frames with the Black Catholic community, and analyse the frames’ timing with the Black Lives Matter cycle of protest. This research has implications for intragroup meaning making as Black Catholics start the process towards identifying with the Black Lives Matter social movement.

Recommended.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street  

Written by fabiorojas

July 26, 2017 at 12:28 am

Posted in fabio, social movements

“distributed framing” in social movements

In the special issue on Ethnic and Racial Studies on Black Lives Matters, BGS* Jelani Ince, Clay Davis and myslef break down hashtag networks:

This paper focuses on the social media presence of Black Lives Matter (BLM). Specifically, we examine how social media users interact with BLM by using hashtags and thus modify the framing of the movement. We call this decentralized interaction with the movement “distributed framing”. Empirically, we illustrate this idea with an analysis of 66,159 tweets that mention #BlackLivesMatter in 2014, when #BlackLivesMatter becomes prominent on social media. We also tally the other hashtags that appear with #BlackLivesMatter in order to measure how online communities influence the framing of the movement. We find that #BlackLivesMatter is associated with five types of hashtags. These hashtags mention solidarity or approval of the movement, refer to police violence, mention movement tactics, mention Ferguson, or express counter-movement sentiments. The paper concludes with hypotheses about the development of movement framings that can be addressed in future research.

Check it out.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street  

Written by fabiorojas

July 20, 2017 at 4:25 am

ethnic and racial studies covers black lives matter

Ethnic and Racial Studies has a special issue on Black Lives Matter. From the lead article, an analysis of counter-protest and collective identity:

Recent events related to police brutality and the evolution of #BlackLivesMatter provides an empirical case to explore the vitality of social media data for social movements and the evolution of collective identities. Social media data provide a portal into how organizing and communicating generate narratives that survive over time. We analyse 31.65 million tweets about Ferguson across four meaningful time periods: the death of Michael Brown, the non-indictment of police officer Darren Wilson, the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, and the one year aftermath of Brown’s death. Our analysis shows that #BlackLivesMatter evolved in concert with protests opposing police brutality occurring on the ground. We also show how #TCOT (Top Conservatives on Twitter) has operated as the primary counter narrative to #BlackLivesMatter. We conclude by discussing the implications our research has for the #BlackLivesMatter movement and increased political polarization following the election of Donald Trump.

From “Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown on Twitter: #BlackLivesMatter, #TCOT, and the evolution of collective identities” by Rashawn Ray, Melissa Brown, Neil Fraistat and Edward Summers.

50+ chapters of grad skool advice goodness: Grad Skool Rulz ($4.44 – cheap!!!!)/Theory for the Working Sociologist (discount code: ROJAS – 30% off!!)/From Black Power/Party in the Street  

Written by fabiorojas

July 18, 2017 at 4:22 am