Grassroots activists leverage innovative, justice-oriented strategies to address wide-scale problems like climate change, life-threatening poverty, threats to Indigenous land rights, and racialised incarceration while simultaneously navigating highly localised issues like food insecurity. In the United States, urban activists are associated with large-scale demonstrations and social justice campaigns, yet rural community leaders have been campaigning against inequality and racism for decades, rarely receiving similar nuanced attention. Beyond differences in awareness and recognition, rural and urban activism generally operate independently from one another. However, more robust alliances across community types are needed more than ever to tackle today’s most pressing social problems. In this chapter, the authors draw on their scholarship on urban and rural activism to show that both varieties share common features, including a critical, political, and sociological consciousness with a core mission of social justice through community mobilisation. From this, the authors discuss common differences between urban and rural activism, reflect on the role of activist scholars in supporting (more unified) struggles for justice, and address some critical issues regarding academics who wish to study or work with activists and social movements.
Goddard, T. and Magnus, A.M. (2023), "Bridging Urban-Rural Grassroots Activism: Activist Criminology in Support of Unified Struggles for Social Change and Social Justice", Canning, V., Martin, G. and Tombs, S. (Ed.) The Emerald International Handbook of Activist Criminology (Emerald Studies in Activist Criminology), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 283-295. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80262-199-020231018
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