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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Daniel B. Cornfield, Jonathan S. Coley, Larry W. Isaac and Dennis C. Dickerson

As a site of contestation among job seekers, workers, and managers, the bureaucratic workplace both reproduces and erodes occupational race segregation and racial status…

Abstract

As a site of contestation among job seekers, workers, and managers, the bureaucratic workplace both reproduces and erodes occupational race segregation and racial status hierarchies. Much sociological research has examined the reproduction of racial inequality at work; however, little research has examined how desegregationist forces, including civil rights movement values, enter and permeate bureaucratic workplaces into the broader polity. Our purpose in this chapter is to introduce and typologize what we refer to as “occupational activism,” defined as socially transformative individual and collective action that is conducted and realized through an occupational role or occupational community. We empirically induce and present a typology from our study of the half-century-long, post-mobilization occupational careers of over 60 veterans of the nonviolent Nashville civil rights movement of the early 1960s. The fourfold typology of occupational activism is framed in the “new” sociology of work, which emphasizes the role of worker agency and activism in determining worker life chances, and in the “varieties of activism” perspective, which treats the typology as a coherent regime of activist roles in the dialogical diffusion of civil rights movement values into, within, and out of workplaces. We conclude with a research agenda on how bureaucratic workplaces nurture and stymie occupational activism as a racially desegregationist force at work and in the broader polity.

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Race, Identity and Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-501-6

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2012

Gregory M. Maney

A growing body of research on nonviolent movements has focused upon backfire or the paradox of repression, whereby repression increases support for these movements and the…

Abstract

A growing body of research on nonviolent movements has focused upon backfire or the paradox of repression, whereby repression increases support for these movements and the likelihood of their achieving their goals. The relationship between reforms and nonviolent movements, however, has received less attention. The existence of the paradox of repression suggests the inverse possibility of the paradox of reform, whereby reforms drain support away from nonviolent movements or even contribute to greater support for violent forms of contention. An exploratory, triangulated analysis of the civil rights movement in Northern Ireland establishes an instance of the paradox. Within the civil rights movement, the announcement of reforms contributed to the exiting of moderates and the growing influence of those less committed to nonviolent forms of contention. Dominant group backlash resulted in vigilante attacks on both the movement and minority areas, intensified repression, and stalling on promised reforms. In response to these changed conditions, many in the minority group came to see armed rebellion as a more viable form of struggle for social justice than nonviolent protest. The case underscores the need to carefully consider the mediating role of reforms in the relationship between repression and nonviolent mobilization as well as to recognize multiple internal and external obstacles that promised yet slowly implemented reforms can present to movements pursuing social change through nonviolence.

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Nonviolent Conflict and Civil Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-346-9

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Book part
Publication date: 3 July 2007

Gregory M. Maney

Researchers have mostly studied armed rebellions and policy-oriented protest movements separately. This article argues that, by altering the structure of political…

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Researchers have mostly studied armed rebellions and policy-oriented protest movements separately. This article argues that, by altering the structure of political opportunity facing insurgents, the two types of contention can facilitate one another's emergence, particularly in divided societies with rigid ethnic states lacking legitimacy. As an illustration, the author examines ethno-nationalist contention in Northern Ireland between 1955 and 1972. Defeat of the IRA's (Irish Republican Army) border campaign contributed to the liberalization of the policies of the Northern Ireland state. Republicans remaining active became receptive to new strategies. Republican organizations subsequently formed an integral part of a civil rights movement. The movement entailed nonviolent mass civil disobedience in the pursuit of equal citizenship rights for the Nationalist minority. A mixture of state concessions and repression contributed to the resurgence of armed Republicanism. The findings suggest the need for greater attention to the overlap and interaction between different goals and forms of political contention.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1318-1

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2008

Hana E. Brown

Existing research argues that repression hindered the ability of local civil rights movements to influence the development of local War on Poverty programs; however, the…

Abstract

Existing research argues that repression hindered the ability of local civil rights movements to influence the development of local War on Poverty programs; however, the Virginia civil rights struggle defies this pattern. This comparative county-level study melds institutionalist accounts of welfare state development with an analysis of movement repression in order to explain this paradox. A distinction is made between situational and institutional repression. While scholars focus on the former and its negative impact on mobilization, this study suggests that institutional repression can have the opposite effect, unifying movements and facilitating their influence on the formation and implementation of poverty policy.

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Politics and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-178-7

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Book part
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Gianluca De Fazio

Hostile countermobilization is a crucial, yet relatively understudied, factor in radicalizing movement tactics and generating political violence. This chapter focuses on…

Abstract

Hostile countermobilization is a crucial, yet relatively understudied, factor in radicalizing movement tactics and generating political violence. This chapter focuses on the movement–countermovement interactions between the Civil Rights Movement and the Loyalist movement in Northern Ireland to clarify the emergence and intensification of political violence in the 1968–1969 years. The interactions between the civil rights mobilization and the loyalist countermobilization created the conditions to fuel both protest-based and sectarian violence, setting the terrain for the eruption of the Troubles. Relying on quantitative data on the actors participating to contentious collective events, as well as original archival research, this chapter shows how the loyalist countermobilization activated mechanisms of object shift and tactical codependency that facilitated the emergence of radicalization in Northern Ireland.

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Non-State Violent Actors and Social Movement Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-190-2

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Book part
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Shixin Huang

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to scrutinize the apparent alliance between international and local disability rights movements by contextualizing the process in…

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to scrutinize the apparent alliance between international and local disability rights movements by contextualizing the process in which the disability rights model is being diffused globally. It seeks to critically examine the transplantation and promotion of the international disability rights movement's rights-based model in China.

Approach: This chapter draws from 18 in-depth interviews with local and international disability rights activists through multisite ethnographic fieldwork in China in 2019.

Findings: This chapter finds that despite opening up spaces for resistance and emancipation locally, the international disability rights movement nevertheless constitutes what I call an enclave of rights that insulates the international rights model from the political, social, and economic realities on the ground. In the case of China, the authoritarian politics that define the relationship between the state and civil society, as well as the economic vulnerability of people with disabilities in the post-socialist market economy, limit, if not invalidate, the rights model espoused by the international disability rights movement.

Implications: The findings of this chapter challenge and complicate the current scholarship of the transnational disability rights movement beyond its normative claims of emancipation. They also explore potential spaces and direction for building a new transnational alliance that takes into account the local experience of disability in a rapidly globalized world.

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Book part
Publication date: 12 June 2018

Megan A. Conway

This chapter explores the relationship between disability identity, civil rights, and the law. Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act…

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This chapter explores the relationship between disability identity, civil rights, and the law. Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the question remains why disability rights legislation does not go far enough toward addressing access, stigma, and discrimination issues. People with disabilities have found empowerment from disability rights laws, but these laws are also restrictive because they define people in relation to medical aspects of their disabilities and narrowly define society’s obligation for inclusion. The successes and failures of disability rights laws are an important contribution to the study of conceptions of difference.

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Special Issue: Law and the Imagining of Difference
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-030-7

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Book part
Publication date: 10 March 2010

Jennifer Earl and Sarah A. Soule

Scholarship on the effects of various kinds of state repression (e.g., counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, protest policing) on subsequent dissent has produced a body of…

Abstract

Scholarship on the effects of various kinds of state repression (e.g., counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, protest policing) on subsequent dissent has produced a body of contradictory findings. In an attempt to better understand the effects of one form of state repression – protest policing – on one form of dissent – public protest – this paper examines the effects of various policing strategies used at protest events on subsequent protest levels in the United States between 1960 and 1990. Theoretically, we argue the effects of repression cannot be broadly theorized but instead need to be hypothesized at the level of particular police strategies and actions. We theorize and empirically examine the impacts of five police strategies, while also improving on prior analyses by producing a comprehensive model that examines lagged and nonlinear effects and examines the effects across the entire social movement sector, as well as across two specific movement industries. Results (1) confirm that not all police strategies have the same effects; (2) show that policing strategies tend to have predominately linear effects; (3) show that police actions have their strongest effects in the very short term, with few effects detectable after a few weeks; and (4) point to interesting differences in the effects of policing strategies on subsequent protest across different social movements.

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Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-036-1

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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2012

Larry W. Isaac, Daniel B. Cornfield, Dennis C. Dickerson, James M. Lawson and Jonathan S. Coley

While it is generally well known that nonviolent collective action was widely deployed in the US southern civil rights movement, there is still much that we do not know…

Abstract

While it is generally well known that nonviolent collective action was widely deployed in the US southern civil rights movement, there is still much that we do not know about how that came to be. Drawing on primary data that consist of detailed semistructured interviews with members of the Nashville nonviolent movement during the late 1950s and 1960s, we contribute unique insights about how the nonviolent repertoire was diffused into one movement current that became integral to moving the wider southern movement. Innovating with the concept of serially linked movement schools – locations where the deeply intense work took place, the didactic and dialogical labor of analyzing, experimenting, creatively translating, and resocializing human agents in preparation for dangerous performance – we follow the biographical paths of carriers of the nonviolent Gandhian repertoire as it was learned, debated, transformed, and carried from India to the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) and Howard University to Nashville (TN) and then into multiple movement campaigns across the South. Members of the Nashville movement core cadre – products of the Nashville movement workshop schools – were especially important because they served as bridging leaders by serially linking schools and collective action campaigns. In this way, they played critical roles in bridging structural holes (places where the movement had yet to be successfully established) and were central to diffusing the movement throughout the South. Our theoretical and empirical approach contributes to the development of the dialogical perspective on movement diffusion generally and to knowledge about how the nonviolent repertoire became integral to the US civil rights movement in particular.

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Nonviolent Conflict and Civil Resistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-346-9

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Book part
Publication date: 16 August 2016

Erik W. Johnson, Jonathan P. Schreiner and Jon Agnone

We know a great deal about the ways in which routines of news coverage may bias newspaper content, but little about how different article retrieval practices influence…

Abstract

We know a great deal about the ways in which routines of news coverage may bias newspaper content, but little about how different article retrieval practices influence newspaper data assembled by scholars. Using the New York Times as a source of data on social movement activity, we compare depictions of protest by the African-American Civil Rights movement over time produced using the two most common article retrieval methods: index versus full-story coding. Full-story coding clearly offers more depth and greater breadth in terms of the events identified. Moreover, many of the same event characteristics associated with selection bias in newspaper reporting (e.g., size and confrontational nature of a protest event, presence of counter-demonstrators or police, and event sponsorship by a recognized social movement organization) are selected upon again when stories are indexed by New York Times staff.

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Narratives of Identity in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-078-7

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